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Ajit Pawar skips GST meet in Delhi, goes to Nashik | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who is also the state finance minister, skipped the GST Council meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, raising eyebrows in political circles. According to his office, Ajit had a meeting at Kalwan in Nashik. School education minister Deepak Kesarkar attended the GST Council meeting in place of the NCP leader.
This would have been Ajit Pawar’s first GST Council meeting as finance minister after he joined the Eknath Shinde government in July this year. He is also part of a Group of Ministers for systemic reforms.
Earlier in the week, Ajit did not attend the cabinet meeting stating that he was unwell, though he met NCP ministers at his residence in the city. There has been speculation that he is miffed with both chief minister Eknath Shinde and Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis as all files of the finance department are being vetted by the offices of Shinde and Fadnavis.
His non-attendance at the cabinet meet had also been attributed to the delay in appointment of guardian ministers and in cabinet expansion. Ajit Pawar, who had been insisting on district guardian ministership for all nine NCP ministers, got his way on Wednesday with seven of the NCP ministers, including himself, given charge of various districts. While Ajit Pawar was made guardian minister for Pune district, replacing senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil, Ajit’s faction also got the district guardianship for Beed and Kolhapur.
Ajit on Saturday preferred to tour Nashik to strengthen his party rather than go to Delhi. Meanwhile, Fadnavis said in Akola on Saturday that expansion of the state cabinet would take place soon. There are 14 cabinet berths to be filled. While BJP has been keen to take 10 berths and give two each to its two allies, the Shinde and Ajit Pawar faction have been demanding four berths each.



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