Maharashtra cabinet reshuffle on cards, but no date fixed yet
Fadnavis’ smoke signals about changes to his cabinet came even as senior Congress leader Narayan Rane hinted that he would join the BJP by Dussehramumbai Updated: Sep 19, 2017 08:16 IST
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ remarks in Aurangabad on Sunday, pointing to a cabinet reshuffle, have set tongues wagging in Maharashtra’s political circles about new inductions, promotions and demotions among Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
Fadnavis’ smoke signals about changes to his cabinet came even as senior Congress leader Narayan Rane hinted that he would join the BJP by Dussehra, which falls at the end of this month.
However, despite Fadnavis’ remarks, sources in the chief minister’s office said that reshuffle is unlikely to happen by this month-end.
”The chief minister’s remarks were in response to a question asked during a press conference. His statement was very generic that a cabinet reshuffle would happen, as a union cabinet reshuffle had been carried out. But, he has set no timeline for this. Also, there’ s no reason that the cabinet reshuffle should happen immediately after Rane joins the party, ‘’ said an official.
The reason for the delay could be that the agreement with Rane for joining the party has not yet been finalised. State party leaders are keen that Rane goes to Delhi on a Rajya Sabha nomination, even though the former is more keen on being inducted as a minister in the cabinet.
Further, sources in the BJP told HT that the CM has initiated the process for the reshuffle by asking his ministers to submit the key initiatives undertaken by them in their respective departments. The ministers were given until September 15 to submit this information.
Besides the performance in their departments, the ministers’ contribution in the recent local polls will also be considered.
Based on their performance, Fadnavis is likely to promote certain ministers to a cabinet rank and demote others. For instance, it is likely that state housing minister Prakash Mehta, who is facing a Lokayukta probe, will get shunted out of the department. Junior ministers like Ranjit Patil and Madan Yerawar may get a cabinet rank. Others like the minister of state, Sambhaji Nilangekar Patil, may get a better portfolio.