Former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, whose suspension from Congress was revoked recently, was today inducted into the over two-month-old Ashok Chavan led Congress-NCP ministry.
Rane and two others -- both from Congress -- were sworn in by Governor S C Jamir at Raj Bhawan. Former ministers Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Naseem Khan were also administered the oath of office. While Rane and Vikhe-Patil were sworn in as cabinet ministers, Khan took oath as minister of state.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, MPCC president Manikrao Thakre, several ministers and government officials attended the swearing-in ceremony, held at the Darbar Hall.
There was speculation that the fourth vacant spot in the ministry would also be filled up but there was no unanimity over the candidate, Congress sources said.
Throughout the day, names doing the rounds included that of former MPCC chief Govindrao Adik and Dilip Deshmukh, brother of former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. However, Vikhe-Patil, who also hails from Adik's Ahmednagar district, pipped the party veteran to the post.