Cong-NCP ministry in Maharashtra expanded; two inducted

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Sharad Pawar
Mumbai, June 2: In the second such exercise in four days, the Prithviraj Chavan led Congress-NCP ministry in Maharashtra was expanded here today with the induction of two Congress ministers.

Amit Deshmukh, son of party veteran late Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Abdul Sattar, also from Marathwada region were inducted. While Sattar was sworn in as Cabinet Minister, Deshmukh was sworn in as minister of state.

Governor K Sankaranarayanan administered the oath of office to Deshmukh and Sattar at Raj Bhavan, an hour ahead of the start of the Monsoon session of State Legislature.

While Deshmukh hails from Latur, Sattar belongs to Sillod in Aurangabad and is known to be a close associate of former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan who won the recent Lok Sabha poll from Nanded in Marathwada region.

Today's swearing in was preceded by confusion over a similar exercise slated yesterday for which the Protocol department had issued communication.

However, the department issued another communication in the afternoon yesterday, saying the ceremony was being kept on hold. The chief minister later sought to play down the incident, claiming that no invitations were sent for any oath taking ceremony yesterday.

Last week, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad who hails from neighbouring Thane was inducted as cabinet minister. Chavan, who held talks with party leadership in Delhi yesterday, returned to Mumbai in the evening and met Governor last night paving the way for today's swearing in ceremony.


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