The expansion of Maharashtra government’s cabinet has been delayed and induction of the remaining ministers is likely to happen on Thursday. One of the reasons for the delay is Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s hospitalisation for high blood pressure. Pawar is yet to be discharged from Breach Candy Hospital, which has delayed NCP’s portfolio allocation decision and selection of the remaining ministers from the party.
Meanwhile, the Congress is also taking its time to name its ministers, as Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who is in New Delhi to consult the party high command, had not returned back to Mumbai till late evening on Monday.
Pawar, who was hospitalized for blood pressure related ailments on Sunday, has undergone routine medical tests. According to sources, his condition is stable and he would be discharged by Tuesday morning. While Prithviraj Chavan is expected to pay Pawar a visit on his return to Mumbai, former CM Ashok Chavan visited Pawar on Monday.
“It doesn’t look good to rush into a swearing in ceremony when Pawar is in hospital. Chavan will pay him a visit after he comes back from Delhi. Our list is more or less finalized,’’ said a source from the Congress.
The strength of the cabinet is 43 ministers. In the outgoing cabinet, there were only 38 ministers as the Congress and NCP had left four and one posts vacant respectively.
NCP’s state party president Madhukar Pichad said, “We have already inducted 10 ministers. Our list can be easily finalised, it’s the Congress that has to finalise their ministers and then take time from the governor.’’