Devendra Fadnavis home and finance, while Sudhir Mungantiwar may get revenue and Chandrakant Patil to be given PWD.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a clutch of petitions filed over the formation of the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Perhaps this is the reason that the expansion of the state cabinet is not likely before August 1.
Though the Shinde camp and the BJP have decided on a power-sharing formula, the list of the names to be inducted into the cabinet is yet to be finalized. According to a BJP leader and former minister, the expansion will take place on July 29, or after August 2.
The delay is mainly because of the SC hearing, as the uncertainty over a few issues, including disqualification of the MLAs and right to issue whip during the confidence motion, looms large.
Shinde camp’s spokesperson Deepak Kesarkar, however, said the delay had nothing to do with the SC hearing. “The top court has not stopped us from the expansion. We have to do it at the earliest and it may take place in the next few days.”
So far there is no dispute over the allocation of portfolios. The Shinde camp will get 16 berths, including that of the CM, while we will get 27 departments. Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen on keeping home and finance, while Sudhir Mungantiwar may get revenue and Chandrakant Patil is expected to be made public works department minister.
A senior leader from the Shinde camp said the ministerial aspirants from both sides had started going back to their constituencies after waiting in Mumbai for four weeks.
Shinde and Fadnavis were sworn in on June 30, a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the CM. Since then, the duo has been taking major decisions related to all the departments.
The opposition has slammed the government for the delay. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar on Monday said, “The farmers are bearing the brunt of the downpour in various parts of the state as the government has failed to give them relief for crop losses.”
With the delay in cabinet expansion, the monsoon session is also expected to be delayed. An official from the state legislature said the session is expected to be held in the third week of August.