Nagpur: It had been more than a month since chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in, but without a single minister in the cabinet.
Maharashtra became the third govt in the country to be run by only two people for such a long time. On Tuesday, 18 leaders were inducted in the Shinde-Fadnavis government. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered oaths of the 18 leaders.
However, out of the 18 names, there was one name which caught everyone’s attention: Sanjay Rathod. The rebel Sena MLA was suspended by former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray from the MVA government in 2021.
The reason behind Rathod’s resignation was because of the death of TikTok star Pooja Chavan. Earlier BJP had announced that they will not allow the house run till Sanjay Raut was sacked by the MVA government.
Soon after Shinde-Fadnavis’ oath taking ceremony, Sanjay Rathod was given a clean chit by Pune police in Pooja Chavan suicide case.
The Sena MLA from Digras Assembly constituency in Yavatmal, Rathod was the minister for forest in the former Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
He had resigned as minister on February 28, 2021, after he came under the scanner for Chavan’s death on February 7. There were allegations that Rathod was in a relationship with Chavan. She had come to Pune to attend an educational course and suspected to have died by suicide by jumping from the first floor of her building.
Later, her purported photographs with Rathod and around 12 audio clips surfaced, which went viral on social media.
Rathod took oath as a minister on Tuesday in the Shinde-Fadnavis government.