The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, sworn-in this evening, has six ministers from Maharashtra, including three cabinet ministers.
UPA II also had six ministers from the state towards the end: cabinet ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel of NCP and Sushilkumar Shinde of Congress, ministers of state Milind Deora, Pratik Patil and Manikrao Gavit (all Congress).
Congress stalwart Vilasrao Deshmukh, who handled heavy industries portfolio, died while in office; Mukul Wasnik quit the cabinet to take up organisational post in the party.
Of the three cabinet ministers from Maharashtra who took the oath of office, Nitin Gadkari hails from Vidarbha. Gopinath Munde — his rival in state BJP — hails from Marathwada (central Maharashtra). Anant Geete, a Shiv Sena MP, is from the coastal Konkan region.
Among the ministers of state, Piyush Goyal is from Mumbai, Prakash Javadekar is from Pune and Rosaheb Danve is from Jalna in Marathwada.
Interestingly, the heavy industries portfolio has been a monopoly of sorts for Maharashtra. Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi handled it in Vajpayee cabinet, and now his party colleague Geete has got it. In UPA, the ministry was with Praful Patel and late Vilsarao Deshmukh at different times.
Meanwhile, BJP workers celebrated the swearing-in of the NDA government here by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets. An open bus and motorcycle rally was held in south Mumbai.