Maharashtra minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday said an expansion of the state cabinet is expected to take place “soon” to fill up the existing vacancies.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who took oath on June 30, expanded his cabinet for the first time on August 9 when he inducted 18 new members into his council of ministers – nine each of the rebel Shiv Sena faction headed by him and the BJP, which is supporting his government.
The induction of 18 new members into the Maharashtra cabinet took its strength to 20. The permissible number of council of ministers in the state, including CM, is 43. Talking to the media here, Mungantiwar said, “We recently formed government and inducted 20 ministers, including Chief Minister and Deputy CM.
According to norms, Maharashtra can have 43 ministers.
There can be 23 more ministers in the state government.” The BJP leader, who was inducted into the cabinet on August 9, handles forest, cultural affairs and fishery portfolios. Mungantiwar said there were 33 ministers in the last government.
“The Chief Minister and Deputy CM will discuss the issue of cabinet expansion. New MLAs can get a chance to serve the general public and an expansion of the cabinet is likely to be done very soon,” he added.