Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar on Saturday was appointed as Chief Coordinator for the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office and he will be holding the rank of Cabinet Minister. The appointment was made by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Waikar's responsibility would mainly involve coordinating with public representatives and the Chief Minister on fast-tracking projects and fund allocations. The Shiv Sena MLA, who is considered to be one of the oldest loyalists of Chief Minister Thackeray, was earlier not made part of the Maharashtra portfolio in the expansion.
Since Thackeray too is new to administration, it is learned that he feels overburdened with office work and meetings. Therefore, he needs a political assistant, who will ease this pressure and hence this decision was taken. Waikar will also give his feedback and will pass key suggestions received by ministers, leaders and workers to the CM. He will keep a check on the officials in the CM office to ensure fast processing of files pending at the CM level.
A senior Sena functionary speaking to a news daily has said that the post of a Chief Coordinator was necessitated since three parties (Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP) have come together to form the government. “There are a lot of issues that MLAs and MPs are raising, and they all want quick resolutions.”
In the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led government, Ravindra Waikar held the post of Minister of State, housing, higher and technical education minister. Waikar is the Shivsena MLA from Mumbai Jogeshwari East constituency.
The then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too had adopted this model. He had appointed BJP leader Shrikant Bhartiya in his office as an officer on special duty. Bhartiya worked as a bridge between BJP leaders, workers and the CM office. He used to sit in the CM office along with other OSDs.
(with ANI inputs)