Mumbai: A reshuffle of the council of ministers led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is on the cards, following talks between ruling partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to the effect. Non-performers will be shown the door, it is learnt.
Incidentally, Thackeray too is believed to have given his consent and the government will soon decide the timing of the proposed reshuffle.
A Congress minister told The Free Press Journal, “Congress is expected to remove Tribal Development Minister KC Padvi and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Aslam Shaikh. The state party in-charge H K Patil, who was recently in Mumbai, has submitted his report to the high command having interacted with senior ministers and leaders. The minister of state for home, Satej Patil, may be elevated to cabinet rank or two completely new faces from scheduled tribes and Muslim community.” He admitted that state party chief Nana Patole too was keen on being inducted though no promises have been to him by the high command.
As far as Shiv Sena is concerned, it is likely to fill up the vacancy created after the resignation of former Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod in connection with a Tik Tok star’s suicide. Shiv Sena insiders pointed out that the CM was likely to take a call for his rehabilitation and re-induction after the final police report on the Tik Tok star’s death.
The NCP is likely to fill up the vacancy created by the resignation of former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case.
Incidentally, both the Sena and the NCP indicated that they were not keen to exclude incumbent ministers for the time being.
At the time of the formation of the MVA, the Shiv Sena got 12 ministerial posts, including eight cabinet and four ministers of state, NCP bagged 14, including 10 cabinet and four ministers of state and the Congress received 10, comprising eight cabinet and two ministers of state. The Shiv Sena holds the CM’s post while the NCP holds that of the deputy CM. Congress had to renounce its claim over the DCM’s post and settle for the post of Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker.
Patole meets Rahul Gandhi
Patole, who was recently reprimanded for his ‘under watch’ allegations against the CM and the DCM, met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday. Patole said Rahul had given the green signal for the Congress party to go solo in the upcoming civic and local body elections in Maharashtra. “Rahul Gandhi will address rallies in Mumbai, Nagpur and Aurangabad. During the meeting, there was a discussion about further strengthening the Congress party organisation and becoming the number one in Maharashtra. The party high command will take a decision on the Congress contesting the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections independently. These elections are after three years. However, the party will fight civic and local body elections independently,” said Patole.