From Abdul Sattar to Vijaykumar Gavit, MLAs facing controversies included in Maharashtra cabinet
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expanded his two-member cabinet on Tuesday, 41 days after taking the oath. Eighteen legislators were sworn in as cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai. There is no woman on the list. However, three of the 18 ministers have been embroiled in controversies.
After the Maharashtra cabinet expansion, three ministers out of 18, Sena rebel MLA Sanjay Rathod, Abdul Sattar and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijaykumar Gavit, who was sworn in on Tuesday, have been mired in controversy.
Sanjay Rathod of Shinde's camp was a minister in the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led state government. Rathod resigned last year after being linked to the death of a woman in Pune.
Rathod joined Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde's rebellion against the party leadership in June of this year.
According to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Rathod was inducted into the state cabinet after police had given him a clean chit.
However, state Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Chitra Wagh said Rathod's inducted into the cabinet was unfortunate; he was allegedly responsible for a woman's death.
"Even if he is appointed to the cabinet, I will continue my fight. I have faith in the judiciary. We will fight and win," Wagh said.
Another newly appointed minister, Sena rebel MLA Abdul Sattar, was at the centre of controversy just a day before the swearing ceremony on Monday. Sattar's three daughters and a son's name appeared on the list of 7,880 candidates disqualified and banned in connection with the alleged rigging of the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) 2019-20.
Sattar previously was in Congress before joining the Shiv Sena ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections.
Following the rebellion, he too joined the Shinde camp in June. Sattar claimed on Monday that the TET controversy was a political conspiracy and questioned the timing of the list on the eve of the Maharashtra cabinet expansion.
Vijaykumar Gavit, another newly appointed minister and BJP leader, was found guilty of corruption and irregularities in the tribal development department he led between 2004 and 2009.
Previously, Gavit was a minister in the then-Congress-NCP government. He was in NCP between 2004 - 2009. Later, he joined the BJP and was elected to the Assembly in 2014 and 2019.
(With inputs from PTI)