Fadnavis’ first team may be bigger than earlier planned
After a tiring day, a constant flow of party legislators kept the chief minister-elect Devendra Fadnavis busy till the wee hours of Wednesday. Each legislator, who is not part of the state core team, wanted a berth in his team.
Fadnavis did not disappoint his MLAs. He told them that he would take their case up with the party bosses, who would ultimately decide his team and departments to be allocated. Barring first-time MLAs, all others are eying a job in his council of ministers which will take oath on October 31.
The lobbying was even more hectic as the party indicated that the first team would be very compact as per its policy of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’. But with increasing pressure for balancing the socio-political equations, the first team is expected to have more than 10 ministers. Earlier, it was decided to have only seven members – including the CM and four other core team members and one MLA each from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
According to sources, Fadnavis is expected to keep the home, and finance departments and merge many departments for giving out to his ministers. The same formula is in place in New Delhi and Gujarat.
The BJP’s headache has increased further after four small allies, Swabhimani Paksha, Rshtriya Samaj Paksha, the Republican Party and Shiv Sangram has demanded a couple of berths each.
Eknath Khadse, who aspired to be the CM, was offered post of Speaker, but he rejected the offer. He has been assured the revenue and forests departments, said BJP insiders. After Khadse’s refusal, the other veterans Haribhau Jawle or Haribhau Bagde are being considered for the job. Jawle and Bagde are also lobbying for the ministerial job.
Pankaja Munde, the party’s OBC face, is expected to get the social justice department.
The Shiv Sena, which is willing to join the BJP-led government, has also asked for the Speaker’s post in exchange of the support. The BJP is unwilling to oblige the ex-ally. The final decision on both posts would be declared in the interim session of the legislature to be held between October 4 and 6.