Danve, Dhotre and Athawale take oath as ministers of state.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra state has one of the highest representatives in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. As many as seven statesmen from Maharashtra were sworn in as ministers in the central cabinet on Thursday. Senior leaders including Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar (BJP) and Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) took oath as cabinet ministers, whereas Raosaheb Danve, Sanjay Dhotre (BJP) and Ramdas Athawale (RPI) took oath as ministers of state (MoS).
Although their portfolios have not been announced yet, the majority of them are expected to be entrusted with key responsibilities in the second innings of the Modi government too.
Mr Gadkari, who was Union minister of roads, highways, surface transport, shipping and Ganga rejuvenation, was often dubbed as one of the high performing ministers during the first term of Modi-led government. He was elected for a second consecutive term from Nagpur constituency.
Mr Javadekar, who was holding human resources development ministry, was elected to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra and his term ends in April 2024. He took over the affairs of the HRD ministry from Smriti Irani who was shunted to the Textiles ministry amid various controversies.
Mr Goyal is elected from Maharashtra to the upper house and had held portfolios of power, renewable energy, coal and railways. His term ends in July 2022. A chartered accountant by profession, Mr Goyal, known for his corporate network developed during his days as an investment banker, is considered to be a key backroom strategist who played a significant role in resource mobilisation of the party.
Shiv Sena MP Sawant is known as a leader accessible to party workers and the common man. He made an impact during his first term in the Lok Sabha in 2014 with his speeches, which reflected a detailed analysis of the issues concerned and suggestions on policy decisions. He has been associated with the Shiv Sena since the party’s early years.
Mr Danve was included in the Modi government five years back. But he was sent back to Maharashtra as state unit chief after one and half years. Akola MP Mr Dhotre has been elevated as a minister. He has been elected as an MP from Akola for four times. Looking at this expertise in the agro sector, he is likely to be given the agriculture portfolio.
Mr Athawale has again been allotted ministership as a reward for his continuous support to the BJP in the state. He was a minister of state for social justice in the previous government.