Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ plan to expand his cabinet was deferred after BJP’s ruling partner Shiv Sena could not finalise the names of their nominees for the two vacant berths in their quota.
According to a senior BJP cabinet minister, the Sena leadership were not able to reach a consensus on who should be made a minister when Fadnavis was seriously thinking on the expansion.
“The Sena could not finalise names of their nominees. There were three contenders — Gulabrao Patil, Arjun Khotkar and Neelam Gorhe — but the party will get only two berths for Minister-of-State,” the minister said.
The BJP leader discarded speculations that the Sena will be allotted one more berth of Cabinet rank and there will be swapping of one portfolio with the minister from the BJP. “We are firm on our stand that the Sena should not get more than two berths,” he said.
As per the power sharing formula between BJP and Sena, a quota of 10 berths have been fixed for the latter. Sena have already filled eight berths.
The minister also maintained that Fadnavis is not in a hurry to appoint officials at the 43 state-run Corporations. “The appointments on the Corporations are always a headache for the ruling party. They are only decorative posts and the appointees use the posting to nurture their status,”
He also cited the experiment done by the BJP in Gujarat as far as the appointments on Corporations are concerned.
“The Gujarat government has kept all the posts on the Corporations vacant since last 15 years. It has not affected the government’s functioning. We are likely to take a cue from the Gujarat government on this subject,” the minister said.
However, BJP allies like Republican Party of India (RPI), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and Shiv Sangram (SS) have demanded time and again to fill up the vacant Corporation posts.
When contacted to comment on the issue of expansion, Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe said the talks are held between Subhash Desai and Anil Desai of the Sena and Fadnavis as well as Raosaheb Danve of the BJP, and only they would be able to throw light on the issue.