Sun, 25 Sep 2022

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 8 (ANI): Maharashtra cabinet expansion is likely to take place at 11 am on Tuesday at Maharashtra Raj Bhavan, sources said on Monday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is expected to expand his cabinet this week by inducting at least 15 Ministers and deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to keep the crucial home portfolio, sources said.

Notably, both the Ministers have been functioning as a two-member cabinet, inviting criticism from Opposition leaders, including NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

"Ajit Pawar is the leader of the opposition. He will have to say such things. Ajit dada conveniently forgets that when he was in the government, there were just five ministers for the first 32 days," Fadnavis said to reporters on Sunday.

Fadnavis has said the BJP has embarked on a mission to improve its footprint in Maharashtra in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by identifying 16 parliamentary constituencies where opposition parties have had a consistent winning streak.

On 6 August, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had said no ministerial-level powers have been given to the secretaries except in quasi-judicial matters. The Opposition in the state had accused the Chief Minister of functioning as a two-member cabinet and having designed the decision-making powers to the bureaucrats. He said these constituencies included those held by Shiv Sena leaders who have now joined Team Shinde.

On June 30, Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis his deputy. Later, Devendra Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to power.

On June 28, Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and asked him for a floor test. The next day, Uddhav Thackeray offered his resignation to the Governor as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. (ANI)

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