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Maharashtra Cabinet expansion: BJP leaders irked with Sanjay Rathod's induction

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Mumbai, Aug 09: The inclusion of Sanjay Rathod, a rebel Sena legislator once accused of abetting a TikTok star's suicide in the Maharashtra cabinet seems to be causing the first bit of dissent in Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's alliance with the BJP.

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BJP leader Chitra Wagh tweeted a video saying, "It is very unfortunate that Sanjay Rathod, who caused the death of Maharashtra's daughter Pooja Chavan, has been given the post of minister again... I will continue my fight against him."

Maharashtra Cabinet expansion: BJP leaders irked with Sanjay Rathods induction

However, Shinde defended the move saying, Rathod was given a clean chit by police when the MVA was in power. Hence, he was included in the state cabinet.

Maharashtra cabinet expansion: Check the list of ministers hereMaharashtra cabinet expansion: Check the list of ministers here

"He's been given the clean chit by police after investigation during the previous government. That's why we have made him a minister. We will speak to anyone who has an objection."

Meanwhile, former Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar claimed the BJP is like a washing machine and once leaders go there, they come out clean.

Rathod, who was part of the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, resigned last year over his alleged link to a woman's death.

BJP had then demanded his resignation. He was the first minister who had to resign from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) cabinet.

Pednekar, who belongs to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction, said, "It's (the BJP) like a washing machine. Once they go there, they come out clean."

Shinde and 39 other Sena legislators had revolted against the party leadership in June this year, which led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led MVA government.

On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM. CM Shinde on Tuesday expanded his two-member ministry.

Eighteen legislators, including Sanjay Rathod and Abdul Sattar, were sworn in as cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai.

Rathod (51) is a four-term Sena MLA from Yavatmal district. Sattar (54) is a three-term MLA from Marathwada. He was with Congress in his first two terms and joined the Sena in 2019.

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