MUMBAI: For the first time since 2014, Maharashtra government inducted four Muslims in the expanded cabinet headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The long-pending expansion of Maha Vikas Aghadi government took place on Monday by inducting 35 ministers — including 04 Muslims- 03 are of the cabinet rank and 01 is Minister of State (MoS).
After five-year gap of no representation, the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government now have Abdul Sattar, Nawab Malik, Hasan Mushrif and Aslam Shaikh as ministers.
Sattar, the erstwhile Congressman and now the lone Muslim legislator in the Shiv Sena party is MLA from Sillod in Aurangabad district, took oath as a Minister of State (MoS).
The other Muslims inducted as cabinet ministers are Malik and Mushrif of the NCP and Aslam Shaikh of Congress.
Noteworthy, the previous saffron coalition government in Maharashtra headed by Devendra Fadnavis saw no Muslim minister.
Considering the challenge from AIMIM in the state, the induction of Muslims will be a major boost for Congress and NCP that will impact the Hyderabad-based party and help strengthen the Congress-NCP base among the minorities, a senior MIM functionary was quoted as saying to TOI.
On Monday, (December 30) around 36 ministers — including those of Cabinet Minister and Minister of State ranks — are likely to be inducted.
Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari will administer the oath to the new team around noon in the Maharashtra Legislature precinct.
The total strength of the ministry of Maharashtra cabinet can be maximum 42 including the Chief Minister.
Exactly 32 days prior, on November 28, Uddhav Thackeray took oath as Chief Minister bringing an end to weeks of political instability in the state’s politics after Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress stitched a post-poll coalition as Maha Vikas Aghadi.