Uncertainty prevails in the NCP over whether the crucial Home portfolio will remain with RR Patil or go to new deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on the eve of the expansion of Prithviraj Chavan-led ministry on Saturday in Maharashtra.
The expansion, which was scheduled on Friday, was put off apparently due to delay in finalisation of the names of the new entrants.
A senior NCP leader said Patil may continue as the Home Minister. The party may opt to allocate finance portfolio to Jayant Patil, he said.
An aide of Patil also expressed confidence that he will continue to retain the portfolio. "NCP chief Sharad Pawar has full confidence in Patil and is happy with the way he has handled the Home department," he said.
The expansion of the 11-member ministry was slated to take place at Raj Bhavan this evening but was postponed. The swearing-in ceremony will take place on Saturday.
Prithviraj Chavan was in Delhi to finalise the list of Congress ministers. The delay in finalisation of the list of Congress ministers led to postponement of today's swearing-in ceremony, NCP sources said.
Chavan, who was sworn in as the chief minister on November 11, heads an 11-member ministry as of now after his predecessor Ashok Chavan quit over his alleged role in the Adarsh scam.