As a chief coordinator, Waikar will handle public grievances and dispose of public applications.
Mumbai: Senior Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister of state Ravindra Waikar was Tuesday appointed as a chief coordinator in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
Mr Waikar, who was said to be unhappy after not getting inducted in the cabinet, will now have a cabinet minister's rank as the chief coordinator in the CMO.
As a chief coordinator, he will handle public grievances and dispose of public applications. This is for the first time that such a post has been created in the Maharashtra CMO.
Earlier, there was speculation that the current chief secretary, Ajoy Mehta, would be appointed as an advisor to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Since Mr Waikar’s appointment has been announced, the chances of the appointment of Mr Mehta as advisor to the chief minister have been reduced, an official said.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government Tuesday issued an order in connection with Mr Waikar’s appointment. According to the government order (GO), Mr Waikar will be responsible for handling grievances and complaints of members of the public, and will receive representations from people who come to Mantralaya (state secretariat) to meet the CM. As per a statement issued by the CMO, the chief coordinator will also coordinate with the district and divisional level CMOs set up recently.
It further said, “An experienced and senior person required for the post of coordination”. Mr Waikar will have staff from the CMO to assist him, the GO added.
Mr Waikar is said to be a close aide of Mr Thackeray. He was the minister of state (MoS) for housing in the Devendra Fadnavis-led saffron government. He is also the former chairman of the civic standing committee in the Brihanmumbai Municip-al Corporation (BMC).
The Sena is pacifying its leaders by appointing them in government through the creation of such posts. Sources said that the Sena is also planning to accommodate former minister Tanaji Sawant and Bhaskar Jadhav, who are vying for the cabinet berth.
The Sena chief took over as chief minister on November 28 last year as head of the three-party alliance government comprising his party, NCP and Congress. During the winter session of the Legislature held in Nagpur in December 2019, Mr Thackeray declared that he would set up a CMO at the district and divisional levels in an effort to decentralise power and ensure that people from rural areas don't have to travel all the way to Mumbai with their problems.