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BJP-Sena rule in Maharashtra after 15 years; 20 ministers inducted

BJP and Shiv Sena are ruling Maharashtra once again after 15 years with the induction of ten ministers from Shiv Sena in the 35-day old Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra this afternoon.

Sena’s joining the BJP government now is unique, because this is the first time a party sitting in the opposition — albeit for a short duration — is switching the sides.

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office to 20 ministers, including 10 from BJP. Ten cabinet ministers, five each from BJP and Sena, were sworn in.

Cabinet ministers who took the oath were Girish Bapat (BJP), Girish Mahajan (BJP), Diwakar Raote (Shiv Sena), Subhash Desai (SS), Ramdas Kadam (SS), Eknath Shinde (SS), Chandrashekhar Bawankule (BJP), Babanrao Lonikar (BJP), Dr Deepak Sawant (SS) and Rajkumar Badole (BJP).

Ministers of state sworn in were Ram Shinde (BJP), Vijay Deshmukh (BJP), Sanjay Rathod (Shiv Sena), Dada Bhuse (SS), Vijay Shivtare (SS), Deepak Kesarkar (SS), Raje Amrish Atram (BJP), Ravindra Waikar (SS), Dr Ranjit Patil (BJP) and Pravin Pote (BJP).

Two more Sena ministers are expected to take oath during the next cabinet expansion, possibly after the winter session of the state legislature.

When Fadnavis was sworn in as the Chief Minister on October 31, nine other ministers, all from BJP, took oath. No Sena minister was sworn in then, as talks between the two parties, which had contested the Assembly polls separately, were inconclusive.

NCP had offered “unsolicited” outside support to the BJP government, which won a trust vote earlier this month.

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his family members were present today to witness his partymen, who were wearing saffron phetas (turbans), being sworn in.

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