New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is set to expand his 40-day-old ministry on Tuesday with a dozen ministers slated to take oath at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am.
Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the CM on June 30 along with Devendra Fadnavis, who took oath as Deputy CM.
“The ministry expansion is slated for tomorrow,” the Chief Minister told reporters at Nanded in the Marathwada region.
A dozen ministers will take oath at Tuesday’s ceremony at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am, news agency PTI reported an aide of Shinde as informing on condition of anonymity.
The next round of expansion would take place later, he added.
“The monsoon session of the state legislature has to be held at the earliest, so we decided to induct 12 legislators in the ministry expansion. Some of those taking the oath on Tuesday would be from the Legislative Council,” the aide said, as quoted by PTI.
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In a surprise move,was chosen for the top post after he managed to take a major chunk of Shiv Sena MLAs with him. He now has the difficult task to accommodate all of them in the ministry.
From the Shinde group, the names of Bharat Gogawale and Shambhuraj Desai are doing the rounds.
From the BJP, state party chief Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Suresh Khade, and Atul Save are likely to be inducted, PTI reported citing party sources.
Shinde, however, said the names of those who will take oath as ministers on Tuesday were being finalised.
The CM has made seven visits to New Delhi in the last one month, and with every visit, there was talk that the ministry expansion was around the corner.
According to Ajit Pawar, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, Shinde promised a ministerial berth to every MLA who joined him.
“Now Shinde is unable to fulfill his promise, hence the delay in the cabinet expansion. The chief minister should disclose reasons for the delay,” Pawar said, as quoted by PTI.
The NCP leader also said that there has been no invitation to him so far from the Maharashtra government for Tuesday’s ministry expansion.
It is clear that not all of the 40 rebel Sena MLAs who are in the Shinde group will get the ministerial berth, he stressed.
“The delay in Maharashtra is small compared to Telangana, where in 2019, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao waited for 61 days to form a full-fledged council of ministers,” PTI reported a political observer saying.