MUMBAI: In an indication of the weight newly inducted deputy CM Ajit Pawar holds in the cabinet, the government this week dropped BJP minister Radha Krishna Vikhe-Patil from the all-important cabinet committee on infrastructure while adding Ajit Pawar and Dilip Walse-Patil of NCP to it.
The committee, headed by CM Eknath Shinde, approves all major infrastructure projects in the state. Deputy CM (home) Devendra Fadnavis and ministers Ravindra Chavan and Atul Save of BJP, and ministers Uday Samant and Dada Bhuse of Shiv Sena are part of the committee.
Vikhe-Patil, who holds the revenue portfolio in the government, had been on the committee from the time it was announced in January. Now the committee has three Shiv Sena ministers, including Shinde, two from NCP, and three from BJP.
Officials said the planning department had re-constituted the cabinet committee on infrastructure through a government resolution (GR). “The cabinet committee on infrastructure is an important committee, one of two such along with the cabinet committee on industries. In the past, this committee has approved projects like the Versova-Bandra Sea Link, Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Highway, and Metro projects across the state, among others,” an official said.
The GR was issued by the planning department, which is headed by Pawar along with the all-important finance department. Walse-Patil is the minister for cooperation.
Shinde was present in Pravaranagar near Shirdi on Thursday, where Union defence minister Rajnath Singh distributed the state-level literature and arts award to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe-Patil, Radha Krishna’s grandfather. Vitthalrao is known as the father of the cooperative movement in the country.

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