As the cabinet allocation in Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi led government has seen a lot of twist and turns, recent reports suggest that there is a neck-to-neck fight between the parties to score the MHADA chief's post in the state.
The chief of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MAHDA) enjoys the status of the minister of state and all redevelopment proposals of MHADA colonies need the green signal of the board headed by the chief. The lucrative post is being eyed by the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
As per sources, the Congress party, which is thought to believe that it has been short-changed in portfolio allocation thus far is eyeing the MAHDA chief’s post. This also comes as Congress has no stake in housing or infrastructure in the MVA government. However, Sachin Ahir, who joined Shiv Sena after quitting NCP and campaigned for Aaditya Thackeray is also lobbying for the post. Another name entering the race for the post is of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s brother Sunil Raut, who was similarly overlooked during portfolio allocation.
A total of 12 Shiv Sena, 14 NCP, and 10 Congress MLAs were administered the oath of office and secrecy in the Maharashtra Cabinet expansion. This includes Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Jitendra Awhad, spokesperson Nawab Malik, senior legislator Hasan Mushrif, newly-elected MLA Dhananjay Munde and Abdul Sattar, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and the CM's son Aaditya Thackeray. This led to considerable unease in the Maha Vikas Aghadi. Arvind Sawant has now been given a cabinet-rank equivalent and will coordinate with the Centre.
MLAs who missed out on a Cabinet berth have expressed their displeasure. This included legislators such as NCP’s Prakash Solanke and Congress' Kailash Gorantyal who threatened to resign from their posts. Senior Sena MLA Abdul Sattar is another Minister who was miffed over getting just a Minister of State position.