Editorial with Sujit Nair: Are voters fools?

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In this episode of editorial, Mr. Sujit Nair delves into the current Maharashtra politics and discusses about the recent portfolio distribution in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has made changes to the portfolios of his ministers and assigned new portfolios to the recently sworn-in ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Ajit Pawar, who had led a faction split within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join the BJP-Shiv Sena government under the Shinde faction, has been given the finance portfolio. Shiv Sena ministers Abdul Sattar and Sanjay Rathod have lost their previous portfolios and have been assigned the ministries of minority welfare and water conservation, respectively. Shortly after the NCP joined the government, Ajit Pawar’s group managed to secure important portfolios that directly interact with the public. Pawar himself has been given the finance and planning portfolio, which was previously held by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde retains a dozen portfolios, including general administration, urban development, information technology, information and publicity, social justice, transport, environment and climate change, and mining. Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the portfolios of home, law and judiciary, protocol, water resources and command area development, and energy. The Shiv Sena had expressed concerns about Pawar being assigned the finance portfolio, as during their rebellion against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in June 2022, they cited Pawar’s working style as one of the reasons for their dissent. Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP has been given the food and civil supplies portfolio, which he previously managed during the Maha Vikas Aghadi government when the state was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. Dhananjay Munde, who is close to Ajit Pawar, has been assigned the agriculture portfolio, which was previously held by Shiv Sena. Dilip Walse-Patil, a former Speaker, has been given the important cooperation ministry. Hasan Müsrif, has been assigned two portfolios: medical education and special assistance. Dharmaraobaba Atram, will oversee the food and drugs administration. Aditi Tatkare, has been given the women and child development ministry.

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