Maharashtra Cabinet expansion likely this week, CM Eknath Shinde set to induct 15 new ministers

Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis is likely to keep the crucial Home portfolio in the Cabinet which is likely to be expanded before August 15

Maharashtra Cabinet expansion likely this week, CM Eknath Shinde set to induct 15 new ministers
Big win for the Shinde-Fadnavis government (File photo: IE)

The much-awaited Maharashtra Cabinet expansion is likely to happen ahead of August 15, news agency PTI reported, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde set to induct at least 15 ministers into his team. Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who reluctantly settled for the Deputy CM’s post following directions by the top BJP leadership, is expected to keep the crucial Home portfolio.

Shinde took oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Fadnavis, as his deputy, on June 30 following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray due to a rebellion by a majority of MLAs of the Shiv Sena who went incommunicado and camped in Guwahati to return only after the new government had taken shape. 

Also Read: ‘Devendra Fadnavis looked unhappy as Deputy CM’: How politicians reacted to Eknath Shinde’s surprise appointment as Maharashtra CM

For 39 days now, Shinde and Fadnavis have been functioning as a two-member cabinet, drawing criticism from opposition leaders, including NCP leader and former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

“Ajit Pawar is 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 on Sunday.

Also Read: Man of the moment: Who is Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena strongman who pushed MVA to brink of collapse?

“The expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet will take place before you can even imagine,” Fadnavis told media responding to repeated querries on the expansion of the cabinet.

Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis said that the BJP has identified 16 Lok Sabha seats where opposition parties have had a consistent winning streak. This, according to Fadnavis, is in line with the party’s mission to improve its footprint in Maharashtra in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.

Notably, these He constituencies include those held by Shiv Sena leaders who have deserted Thackeray and now joined hands with the Shinde camp.

“Since Shiv Sena and BJP will contest the Lok Sabha elections as a coalition, the BJP will work to ensure the victory of the sitting Lok Sabha members from these constituencies,” Fadnavis said, adding that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been tasked with the responsibility to coordinate efforts to better the BJP’s performance in Baramati, where the party had polled a good number of votes in the previous elections.

According to Fadnavis, the Finance minister plan an extensive tour of Baramati in September. Travel programmes of other central BJP leaders and Union ministers tasked with responsibilities for Lok Sabha polls will also be finalised soon, he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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