Jitendra Awhad
Jitendra Awhad

Mumbai:  NCP state unit’s working chief Jitendra Awhad is likely to be inducted into the Maharashtra government as a Cabinet minister during the ministry expansion today.

Raj Bhavan sources said this morning that only Awhad is likely to be sworn-in.

NCP, which is Congress’ ally in the state government, is bringing in Awhad to fill up the vacancy created by the ouster of Vijaykumar Gavit, sources said.

Gavit, a regional heavyweight, was expelled from NCP after his daughter Heena Gavit contested from Nandurbar Lok Sabha constituency on a BJP ticket. She went on to win the seat by defeating 9-term Congress MP Manikrao Gavit.

It was not yet clear if NCP leader Fouzia Khan, Minister of State for Education and Culture whose tenure as the Member of Legislative Council expired in March, will be retained.

There are allegations that she worked against NCP’s candidate in Parbhani during the elections and the party has issued a show-cause notice to her.

Sources said if Khan was dropped, Samajwadi Party MLA and Vijaykumar Gavit’s brother Sharad Gavit could be made a minister.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said there had been no decision yet on fresh inductions from its side, and the party may keep three portfolios in its quota vacant.

The last reshuffle took place in June 2013 when NCP dropped Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Laxman Dhobale, Gulabrao Devkar, Babanrao Pachpute, Bhaskar Jadhav, and brought in Sanjay Savkare, Uday Samant, Shashikant Shinde, Madhukar Pichad and Dilip Sopal.

The Assembly elections in Maharashtra are due later this year.

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