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BJP all set for blockbuster Friday debut

CM-elect Devendra Fadnavis may take oath with a team of 7-10 ministers, lobbying for major posts continues; Sena won’t attend event

mumbai Updated: Oct 31, 2014 00:28 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Dharmendra Jore
Hindustan Times

A few hours of extravagance, glitz and celebration. This is what the oath-taking ceremony of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first chief minister in the state Devendra Fadnavis and his team of 7-10 ministers at the Wankhede stadium on Friday is most likely to be.

While four core committee members — Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Sudhir Munganttiwar and Pankaja Munde — will be sworn-in as Cabinet rank ministers, there is no clarity on who will be chosen for the remaining berths of Cabinet and junior ranks. According to insiders, the induction of other MLAs will depend on their efficiency, vision, approach to government-related matters and the regional and social balance.

Fadnavis is expected to keep the home and finance departments, along with others that the chief minister holds. Khadse could get the prime revenue and forests departments, while Tawde may get the urban development and transport. Munganttiwar may get a package of public works and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation or rural development. Pankaja, the party’s OBC face, is vying for the water resources or social justice ministry.

The party’s ST legislator from Palghar, Vishnu Savra, may get the tribal development department.
Sudhakar Bhalerao from Marathwada and Surekh Khade (western Maharashra) may be one of the SC candidates.
Initially, Team Fadnavis was to comprise only seven members — the CM, four core team members and one MLA each from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe. However, taking note of the need to balance the socio-political equations, the party decided to get 10 ministers in the team.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah want Fadnavis to have a compact Cabinet in the beginning and then expand it, keeping in view Modi’s policy of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’.
“Going by the experience we have had when Modi constituted his Cabinet, we are not ruling out surprises,” said one of the aspirants, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Amid heavy lobbying, BJP legislators kept eagerly waiting for a call from the CM-elect till Thursday night.

Fadnavis was expected to return by midnight from the national capital, where he met Modi and Shah to discuss the formation of the government.

Four small allies —Swabhimani Paksha, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Republican Party and Shiv Sangram — are unlikely to get a berth, said a BJP leader.

With BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy ruling it out, the Shiv Sena ministers are not expected to take the oath.

First Published: Oct 31, 2014 00:26 IST

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