Mumbai: Maharashtra Cabinet expansion has been postponed, reportedly over rumblings within both the BJP and Shiv Sena. The monsoon session of the Assembly is to begin on June 17 and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had hinted at a Cabinet expansion on June 14 or 15.
Reports suggest there is a divide within the Sena over the post of Deputy Chief Minister. Zee News quotes sources as saying that a section of Sena wanted Public Works minister Eknath Shinde as the deputy CM, while another section was rooting for Industries and Mining minister Subhash Desai.
The BJP had offered either the deputy CM’s or two ministerial berths in the state government to Sena.
Meanwhile, BJP has had to deal with Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, a former Congress leader who switched camps. Sources said that Patil was demanding Revenue ministry but the party has offered him Agriculture portfolio.
Earlier in the day, reports were also rife of the Sena pitching Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray’s name for the Deputy Chief Minister. While insiders claimed that Sena was eyeing the Deputy CM seat for the Thackeray scion, Thackeray rubbished the reports.
Beginning this coming Monday, the monsoon session will be the last session of the state legislature before the Assembly polls later this year. Currently, the Fadnavis government has 37 ministers and could accommodate five more.