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Say 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello': Maharashtra govt's directive to officials

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Newly-appointed Maharashtra Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Sunday directed all officials of the state government to start telephonic conversations with "Vande Mataram" instead of greeting a phone call with a 'hello". "On the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, from now on, officers and employees in all government offices in Maharashtra will start their conversation on the phone with Vande Mataram instead of hello," he said. He said it will be mandatory to say Vande Mataram instead of hello. Taking to Twitter, he said, "Today immediately after announcements on portfolio distribution, as a Cultural Affairs Minister, my first appeal to each and every citizen and government office employee is, to use " Vande Mataram" to start a conversation instead of "Hello"." Mungantiwar further said it is necessary to abandon this foreign word (hello) while adding that Vande Mataram is not just a word but it is the feeling of every Indian. After recent political turbulence and with 18 ministers taking oath recently in Maharashtra, the western state's Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday announced the allocation of portfolios to newly appointed ministers in the state cabinet with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra bagging major roles and ministries.Shinde will look after general administration, urban development, Information and Public Relations, Public Works Department and several other major portfolios not allocated to other ministers. Fadnavis will hold the portfolios of Home, Finance and Planning, Law and Justice, Water Resources and Command Area Development, Housing, Energy, and Protocol. Senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil was allotted higher and technical education, textile industry and parliamentary work while Ravindra Chavhan was assigned Ministry of Public Works (excluding Public Enterprises), Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection. Other major departments that were allocated to BJP leaders included Girish Mahajan as chief of Village Development and Panchayati Raj development, Medical Education, Sports and Youth Welfare. The leaders from Shiv Sena allocated portfolios include Dada Bhuse, Shambhuraje Desai, Sandeepan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar, Gulabrao Patil and Sanjay Rathod. All these portfolios allocated have been announced after approval by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Earlier, the expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet took place on August 9 with a total of 18 MLAs -9 each from BJP and from the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction sworn in as ministers in a grand ceremony in Mumbai's Raj Bhavan.

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