As the debate over nepotism and dynasties ruling political parties in India continues, several leaders from political families have found a place in the newly expanded Maharashtra cabinet.
Yuva Sena head Aaditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sworn in as Cabinet minister in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Monday. The 29-year-old legislator is a first-term MLA from Worli seat in Mumbai and also the first from the family to have been elected in the state cabinet.
Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan took oath as Cabinet minister. He is the son of former chief minister late Shankarrao Chavan. Ashok Chavan was also chief minister of Maharashtra from 2008 to 2010 of the then Congress-NCP state government.
Gopinath Munde’s nephew Dhananjay Munde also got a place in the cabinet expansion. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader defeated Gopinath Munde’s daughter and former BJP MLA from Parli constituency Pankaja Munde in the recent assembly elections.
NCP MLA Aditi Tatkare, who took oath as minister of state (MoS) in the Thackeray-led government, is the daughter of NCP’s Raigad Lok Sabha member Sunil Tatkare, who was the irrigation and finance minister in the then Congress-NCP government. Aditi Tatkare is an MLA from Srivardhan seat in Raigad district.
Carrying the political legacy forward, Congress leader Amit Deshmukh also found a place in the state Cabinet on Monday. The three-term MLA from Latur city is the son of former chief minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Similarly, Varsha Gaikwad, daughter of former Congress leader Eknath Gaikwad, and Vishwajit Kadam, son of Patangrao Kadam, have also become members of Uddhav Thackeray’s cabinet.
Another Congress leader Vishwajit Kadam, who took oath as minister of state, is the son of party leader late Patangrao Kadam.
Besides, Krantikari Shetkari Paksha leader Shankarrao Gadakh, who took oath as Cabinet minister, is the son of former NCP leader Yaswantrao Gadakh. Shankarrao Gadakh, who is a former NCP MLA, quit the Sharad Pawar-led party in 2014 and formed his own in 2017. His outfit is now an ally of the ruling Shiv Sena party.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray referred his council of ministers as the “best team” of experienced leaders who know the “pulse of people”, expanded his Cabinet on Monday by adding 36 ministers. NCP’s Ajit Pawar made a comeback as the state deputy CM.