Mumbai: The much awaited cabinet expansion is all set to happen in Maharashtra on Sunday as some new ministers will be sworn in at Raj Bhavan into Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ State cabinet. Some ministers are also likely to be dropped from the cabinet.
On Saturday, Fadnavis went to Delhi to discuss and finalise the names of new members in his cabinet. It is being widely speculated that Housing Minister Prakash Mehta may be sacked from the cabinet while former Congress heavyweight leader from Ahmednagar Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil may be sworn in.
The State Assembly will soon go into its monsoon session which is also going to be the budget session for the assembly. Fadnavis decided to expand the cabinet some weeks ago. However, the names of new ministers were not finalised for many weeks. New ministers will be inducted in the cabinet on Sunday morning.
According to sources, Anil Bonde from Amravati, Dr Sanjay Kute from Buldhana and Avinash Mahatekar from RPI, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Jaydatta Kshirsagar will be sworn in as new ministers. While Cabinet ministers Prakash Mehta and Vishnu Savara will be out along with Minister of State Vidya Thakur, Ambarish Raje Atram and Pravin Pote. Fadnavis met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, giving rise to speculation about cabinet expansion on Sunday.
“I met Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshri and had a detailed discussion regarding cabinet expansion,” tweeted Fadnavis late on Friday night.
Fadnavis met the governor earlier in the day. With just four months to go for Assembly elections, both Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena are keen to give an opportunity to new faces in the cabinet.
Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil recently quit Congress and joined the BJP. He has also resigned as MLA. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former minister Jaydutta Kshirsagar, who has joined the Sena recently, is also hopeful of joining the cabinet. The State does not have full-time Agriculture and Health ministers at present.
The BJP MLAs, who are likely to get berth in the cabinet expansion, has called by the CM office to reach Mumbai by Sunday morning.
Fadnavis met Vidyasagar Rao and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday. After the meeting, he was tweeted, “Met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshri and had detailed discussion regarding cabinet expansion.”
However, Fadnavis said in Delhi that the Cabinet expansion in state will take place on Sunday. Shiv Sena has not finalised the name of their ministers, party chief Uddhav Thackeray is leaving for Ayodhya on Sunday morning, before that, he will finalise the names of ministers and will send to the chief minister’s officers.