Fadnavis in Delhi?
A speculation is on the rise in the Maharashtra BJP unit that Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis will be inducted in the Modi Cabinet. Fadnavis met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi recently. The visit led to murmurs among detractors of Fadnavis. BJP leaders feel exit of Fadnavis from Maharashtra politics will pave way for a new leadership. Outsiders say this indicates that the BJP has given up on forming a government and that the MVA rule will continue without any trouble.
Eagle eye on minister
Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde is not happy with his leadership. The Shiv Sena leader has urban development portfolio — a money milking department — but is continuously watched by the Sena’s top two Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray. Shinde also happens to be chairman of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. His role sees him handle important projects worth several crores of rupees. But, Aaditya happens to be the guardian minister for Mumbai suburbs. Shinde is not a green horn when it comes to governance as he had earlier handled the public works department. What irks Shinde further is that bureaucrats of his department are summoned by Uddhav himself and that they are unavailable when he calls them.
Juggling two roles
Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat was inducted as a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. After assuming office as a revenue minister, there were was talks of Thorat resigning as the Maharashtra Congress state president. However, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has conveyed that the soft spoken Thorat will continue with two responsibilities. Sonia is not in a mood to change the PCC president. Thorat, a confidant of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, will have to do a balancing act and do justice to both the posts.
Down but not out
In a major reshuffle in bureaucratic set up, CM Uddhav Thackeray has shunted out officers who were close to the previous BJP dispensation. Ashwini Bhide, the MD of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, is not in the good book of the Shiv Sena. Though Bhide wanted to be like ‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan, her arrogance and loyalty to Devendra Fadnavis did not go well with Uddhav. She had ordered felling of 2,000 trees at Aarey for a metro car shed despite opposition from the Thackerays. As expected, she was shunted out of the Corporation. But, Bhide still proudly flaunts her Metro role in her Twitter bio.