Cabinet berth for Eknath legislators: Two legislators from Eknath Shinde's faction will receive ministerial posts in the central government, said sources. The posts will be of one cabinet and one minister of state. The two positions will be assigned as and when the Modi cabinet expands. If sources were to be believed, Rahul Shewale, MP, Mumbai South Central and Prataprao Jadhav from Buldhana in Vidarbha can be made ministers.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expanded his cabinet on Tuesday. The event took place at 11 am at Maharashtra Raj Bhavan today. Maharashtra's cabinet was expanded almost 40 days after Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister and deputy chief minister, respectively.
As many as 18 ministers were inducted in the state's cabinet, while Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis kept charge of the crucial home portfolio.
Before the cabinet expansion today, the MLAs in the Shinde faction met at the state government's Sahyadri Guest House. The 18 ministers who took oath today included nine from Shiv Sena and nine from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Maharashtra cabinet - Sena vs Shinde
Of the 55 MLAs of Shiv Sena, 40 have aligned with Shinde. The revolt led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led government in June. Shinde was sworn in as the CM on June 30 along with Fadnavis, who took oath as the Deputy CM.
The chief minister told reporters in Nanded on Monday evening that the names of MLAs who will take oath as ministers will be finalised by Monday night or on Tuesday. Notably, both - Shinde and Fadnavis have been functioning as a two-member cabinet, inviting criticism from Opposition leaders, including NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.