Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the Deputy of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today for the second time in two months. Earlier, he secretly sided with the BJP and was sworn-in as the deputy of Devendra Fadnavis. Mr Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray is also set to take oath as part of the cabinet along with 34 other legislators.
In November 2019, Sharad Pawar’s nephew, Ajit Pawar sided with the BJP in an overnight coup and took oath along with Devendra Fadnavis in an early-morning surprise oath-taking ceremony.
From the Congress, Ashok Chavan, K C Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Amit Deshmukh, Sunil Kadar, Yashomati Thakur, Varsha Gaikwad and Aslam Sheikh, Satej Patil and Vishwajeet Kada are a part of the expanded cabinet.
Let’s take a look at Ajit Pawar political journey.
In 1982, Ajit Pawar made his entry into politics when he was elected to the board of a cooperative sugar factory . In 1991, he was elected chairman of the Pune District Co-operative Bank (PDC) and held that position for 16 years. He was also elected as Member of parliament of the Lok Sabha from the Baramati during this period. Later, he had to vacate the Lok Sabha seat in favour of his uncle, Sharad Pawar, who had then become defence minister in PV Narasimha Rao’s government. He was elected member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Baramati later and was re-elected from the same constituency in 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014. He also bagged the portfolio of minister of state for Agriculture and Power in Sudhakarrao Naik’s government in 1991.
After Congress joined hands with the NCP and came into power in 1999, Pawar was promoted as cabinet minister – firstly in the Irrigation Department (October 1999 – December 2003) in Vilasrao Deshmukh’s government and got additional charge of the Rural Development Department (December 2003 – October 2004) in Sushilkumar Shinde’s government. In 2004, he retained the Water Resources Ministry in Deshmukh’s government and later in Ashok Chavan’s government.
Pawar also became the Guardian minister for Pune district in 2004 and held the post until the Congress – NCP coalition lost power in 2014.
The youngest face of the ‘Thackeray clan’, Aditya Thackeray has also got Ministerial berth in Maharashtra cabinet. Aditya contested for the MLA seat in the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly election from the Worli constituency of Mumbai and subsequently won the seat in October 2019.
Aditya is also the first member of the Thackeray family to contest elections and also the first to win the elections.