Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 16, 2019-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Devendra Fadnavis to revamp his cabinet today; Shiv Sena likely to get two new berths

“The cabinet expansion will be held tomorrow [Sunday]. I have held one discussion about it and one final discussion will be done today,” said Fadnavis, who was in New Delhi on Saturday to attend the Niti Aayog meeting.

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2019 03:50 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Mumbai
Devendra Fadnavis,Shiv Sena,Cabinet
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will carry out the long-pending reshuffle and expansion of his cabinet on Sunday, just three months ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will carry out the long-pending reshuffle and expansion of his cabinet on Sunday, just three months ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The exercise is being undertaken to accommodate senior leaders, who moved to the BJP and Shiv Sena from the Opposition camp, and to give internal aspirants a chance before the polls.

While former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who was also leader of opposition in the Assembly before joining the BJP, is set to be inducted into the cabinet, ex-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who joined the Shiv Sena, too, will get a berth.

“The cabinet expansion will be held tomorrow [Sunday]. I have held one discussion about it and one final discussion will be done today,” said Fadnavis, who was in New Delhi on Saturday to attend the Niti Aayog meeting.

The new ministers will be sworn in at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan at 11am on Sunday.

A senior BJP leader said that the cabinet will see “10 new ministers”.

Other than Vikhe Patil, the other BJP leaders, who could get cabinet berths, are the party’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar; Mumbai legislator Yogesh Sagar; Vidarbha legislators Dr Anil Bonde, Sanjay Kute and Parinay Phuke; Sangli MLA Suresh Khade; and Maval legislator Bala Bhegade.

Sena is likely to give a chance to its Solapur MLA Tanaji Sawant, besides Kshirsagar.

The party is also likely to get one cabinet (Kshirsagar) and one junior ministerial berth (Sawant).

The Republican Party of India (A) may get one ministerial berth, and is expected to nominate Avinash Mahatekar for the post.

The leaders who are likely to be dropped from the cabinet are housing minister Prakash Mehta; tribal development minister Vishnu Sawara (ST); social justice minister Rajkumar Badole (SC); minister of state for social justice Dilip Kamble (SC); and minister of state for industries and mining Pravin Pote Patil. The berth for the food and civil supplies minister is also vacant as incumbent Girish Bapat was elected as a MP in the Lok Sabha polls.

“The final decision on Mehta will be taken by the Delhi leadership,” said a senior BJP minister, who did not wish to be named. “The CM will try and induct new faces by balancing out region and caste factors. The party will also induct loyal BJP leaders to make up for the sense of disenchantment over induction of outsiders such as Vikhe Patil.”

The Fadnavis cabinet has 38 ministers – out of which 22 are cabinet ministers and 16 are junior ministers. The Chief Minister can induct up to 43 ministers as per constitutional norms.

Fadnavis had met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray late on Friday to discuss the modalities of the expansion. It is learnt that Sena was offered the post of deputy chief minister, but Thackeray did not take it up to avoid dissidence within the party’s senior leadership.

First Published: Jun 16, 2019 03:50 IST