Mumbai: A week into the unprecedented political crisis that threatens the survival of Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stripped all the nine rebel ministers of their portfolios and allocated them to other existing ministers.
The decision was taken in public interest to ensure a smooth functioning of all departments and not hinder the decision-making process in view of the absence of the five cabinet ministers and four ministers of state, according to Thackeray.
The work of the departments belonging to the concerned rebel Ministers and Ministers of State has been handed over to the existing Ministers and Ministers of State, till further orders, said the CMO.
The rebel group’s leader and Minister Eknath Shinde’s Urban Development, Public Works (Public Enterprises) have been allocated to Minister Subhash Desai, Minister Gulabrao Raghunath Patil’s Water Supply and Sanitation Department goes to Anil Dattatraya Parab, Minister Dadaji Dagdu Bhuse’s Agriculture and Ex-Servicemen Welfare Department and Minister Sandipan Asaram Bhumare’s Employment Guarantee Scheme & Horticulture have been given to Minister Shankar Yashwantrao Gadakh, Minister Uday Samant’s Higher & Technical Education Department goes to Minister Aditya Thackeray.
Similar changes have been affected for the Ministers of State — who are currently not attending to duties since a week — and their departments have been passed onto existing MoSs till further orders.
An official said that the Chief Minister may direct any other Minister to carry out all or any of the duties in the absence of any minister when it is not possible to carry out his duties due to illness or any other reason as per the Government of Maharashtra rules.
The development came soon after a PIL was filed before the Bombay High Court seeking ‘return to duty’ of all the rebel Ministers — currently camping in Guwahati — and directions to the Chief Minister and others to “submit detailed plan of assurance” mentioning the process of governance in the absence of so many Ministers.