Maharashtra Food and Drugs, Public Distribution Minister Girish Bapat would not be attending the winter session of Maharashtra Assembly which starts on Monday because of the upcoming municipal council elections in Pune district.
Bapat, a BJP veteran BJP, hails from Pune and is also the guardian minister of the district.
“Some ten municipal councils would go to polls on December 14. Being in charge of elections (for BJP), Bapat has decided to concentrate on elections,” an official of the general administration department said.
The municipal councils which would go to polls include Baramati, hometown and bastion of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
In the recent years, some local opponents of Pawar, especially those who could not get along with his nephew and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, have joined BJP.
A government resolution issued today handed over the charge of Bapat’s ministries to Education Minister Vinod Tawde for the duration of the session.
Bapat did not have the charge of his ministries during the last winter session too as he had undergone a heart surgery.
When asked why he was giving priority to the local elections, Bapat said he had excellent relations with leaders across the parties and so he can manage.
“I have handed over the charge to (another) cabinet minister, hence there will be no issue with daily functioning of the session. BJP is set to make major inroads in these elections,” he said.