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‘Swearing in that wasn’t’ has Maha politicians taking potshots

MB-PicThe hurriedly announced expansion of the Prithviraj Chavan-led ministry in Maharashtra today failed to materialise, giving the Opposition guns ample fodder to taunt the Congress-NCP government in the state.

“The Congress (led) state government is hilarious! They declare (to) swear in new ministers and within two hours they hold it (back),” BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar said.

“No shame for such poor decision making skills. It is such style of work that has put city in coma,” Shelar said.

“The Chief Minister has to take a U-turn from the swearing-in ceremony. I am yet to come across a more “lachar” (helpless) CM,” Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Eknath Khadse said.

It all began with a communication from the Protocol Department in the morning, announcing that the swearing-in of new ministers would be held at Raj Bhavan at 4 pm on Sunday.

However, in the afternoon, the department sent another communication, which said: “Please treat previous message regarding today’s swearing in ceremony on hold till further instructions.”

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was to attend a customary tea party on Legislature session eve at 5 pm, was in a Mumbai-bound flight from Delhi at that time, after meeting top Congress leaders in the national capital.

Since morning, there was speculation in political circles that Congress will induct three ministers, including late Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit, to fill up vacancies in probably the last ministerial expansion of the Congress-NCP government, whose third term in office ends in four months.

On May 29, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad was inducted as a minister in the Maharashtra cabinet in a brief cabinet expansion. Governor K Sankaranarayanan had administered the oath of office and secrecy to Awhad at the swearing in ceremony held at Darbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, here.

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