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Mini cabinet expansion in Maha with a dozen ministers expected on Tuesday (Ld)

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Mumbai, Aug 8 (Ajit Weekly News) Finally, the much-delayed and anticipated cabinet expansion of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis government is expected to take place on Tuesday morning, official sources said here on Monday.

Shinde also gave hints to the effect in Nanded where he is on a tour on Monday, saying that “you will come to know soon” and that the names of the ministers shall be finalised by Monday night or Tuesday.

The Shinde group MLAs will be meeting later on Monday after messages were conveyed to various probables on his side and ally Bharatiya Janata Party to reach the state capital immediately.

According to current indications, around half a dozen ministers from the Shinde group and the BJP are slated to take oath on Tuesday in the first phase, and the rest will be inducted later.

Political sources said that nearly half the legislators of Shinde Group-BJP – totaling around 165, including independents and smaller parties – are clamouring for ministerial berths, with a majority of them hoping for Cabinet rank.

The move comes ahead of the Monsoon Session of Maharashtra Legislature which is expected to start from Wednesday, though there were some reports of a week’s delay.

The Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat has cancelled all leaves of staffers from August 9-18, directing them to remain present in office for the monsoon session preparations.

Shinde and Fadnavis took oath on June 30 – a day after the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi regime headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray crashed – and since then, they have been running a two-man government for the past 40 days.

Thackeray, his son Aditya Thackeray, party MP Arvind Sawant and other MVA leaders have taken potshots at the proposed cabinet expansion on Tuesday.

Shinde and Fadnavis had a meeting on the issue Monday – a couple of days after they had gone to New Delhi to meet the BJP top leaders – to finalise the thorny cabinet expansion issue, with many senior leaders on both sides staking a claim for ministerial positions.

The Shinde-Fadnavis regime has been under severe attack from the Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party, Congress and Shiv Sena leaders for the delay in forming the cabinet due to which the state administration has been left paralysed, with no help reaching the farmers and people hit by the recent floods in several parts of the state.

–Ajit Weekly News
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News Credits – I A N S

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