IANS

Six MPs from Maharashtra are set to be inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government -- Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Raksha Khadse, Murlidhar Mohol, Ramdas Athawale and Prataprao Jadhav. 

Incidentally, none of the NCP MPs, including Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare, will get the ministerial berths.

Similarly, BJP's outgoing Union Ministers Narayan Rane and Dr Bhagwat Karad have not found a place in the new cabinet.

The BJP has tried to maintain a regional balance and also give weightage to politically influential castes while considering ministerial berths to Gadkari, Goyal, Khadse and Mohol.

Nitin Gadkari, who scored the hat-trick by winning the Nagpur seat, hails from the Vidarbha region where the BJP’s performance was dismal in the just concluded general elections. Gadkari, who comes from the Brahmin community, enjoys strong support from the RSS. He has gained recognition across the country and political parties for his performance as the Union Minister of Surface Transport and Shipping. Gadkari’s induction was important, especially for the BJP to step up efforts to regain control in the Vidarbha region in the run-up to the state Assembly elections slated for September-October this year.

Piyush Goyal, who was elected in his maiden Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North constituency, has held crucial posts like Commerce, Power and Renewable Energy, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Goyal enjoys proximity with PM Modi and Amit Shah and has a good rapport with the industry and business community. Goyal hails from the Agarwal community and is the son of BJP veteran leaders Vedprakash and Chandrakanta Goyal.

Raksha Khadse, who won from Raver for the third consecutive term, is the daughter-in-law of Eknath Khadse who is set to rejoin the BJP. Raksha comes from the Leva Patil community which is quite dominant in Jalgaon and adjoining districts from North Maharashtra. Raksha’s induction is also a message to Eknath Khadse's critic and state minister Girish Mahajan not to engage in one-upmanship but to work together for the party's consolidation ahead of the state Assembly elections.

Ramdas Athawale (RPI), who has been the Minister of State for Social Justice, had not fielded any candidate of his party but supported the MahaYuti nominees in the general elections. His reinduction is to send a message to the Dalit community, in particular, that the BJP-led NDA government will not leave it high and dry but do everything for its upliftment.

The ministerial berth to Mohol, who was elected for the first time from Pune, has surprised many from BJP. However, his induction was a calculated move to keep the politically influential Maratha community in good humour, especially against the backdrop of a newly launched protest by Manoj Jarange Patil demanding the Maratha reservation. Mohol is a close confidant of state Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav hails from the Maratha community and comes from the Vidarbha region. Jadhav was elected to the Lok Sabha for the fourth successive term after he switched sides to Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena from Uddhav Thackeray. Earlier, Jadhav was a Minister of State in the Maharashtra cabinet during the Shiv Sena-BJP government between 1995 and 1999. He was the chairman of the parliamentary committees of rural development and information and technology.

Meanwhile, the NCP received a major setback after the party failed to get any ministerial berth in the Modi-led ministry. This is a shocker for NCP, especially after its dismal performance in the general elections. The party could win one seat out of the four it got during the seat-sharing allocation from BJP and Shiv Sena.

Former Minister and NCP's working president Praful Patel was the frontrunner for the ministerial berth but was not considered. The non-inclusion of Patel comes at a time when a Mumbai court recently quashed an Enforcement Directorate(ED) order seeking the attachment of his properties worth over Rs 180 crore in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi.

Further, the name of Sunil Tatkare, who was elected for the second consecutive term from Raigad constituency, was doing the rounds. But he also did not receive a call from the BJP leadership. Tatkare, however, said he would devote his time to further strengthen the party in Maharashtra.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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