Maha CM Eknath Shinde to expand 2-member ministry today

Shinde told reporters in Nanded on Monday that the ministry expansion is slated for Tuesday.
Eknath Shinde
Eknath ShindePTI

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will expand his two-member ministry on Tuesday, 41 days after he took oath as the CM.

On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM.

Shinde told reporters in Nanded on Monday that the ministry expansion is slated for Tuesday.

The ceremony will be held at the Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am, an aide of Shinde told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The next round of expansion would take place later, he added.

Shinde, who emerged as a surprise choice for the top post after managing to take a major chunk of Shiv Sena MLAs with him following the rebellion in June, will have a difficult task to accommodate all of them in the ministry, sources said.

From the Shinde group, 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, party sources said.

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 round the corner.

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar said Shinde had promised a ministerial berth to every MLA who joined him.

“Now Shinde is unable to fulfil his promise, hence the delay in cabinet expansion. The chief minister should disclose reasons for the delay,” Pawar said.

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