Even when the uncertainty continues over the cabinet expansion, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be in New Delhi on Saturday and Sunday. The duo will attend the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav function on Saturday and participate at the 7th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on Sunday.
On the eve of their Delhi visit, Shinde paid a courtesy visit on Friday at Fadnavis’ official bungalow Sagar situated at the Malabar Hills in South Mumbai and they reportedly discussed the issues to be raised during the NITI Aayog meeting that will be chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, sources told the Free Press Journal, ‘’CM and DCM, apart from these official engagements, have lined up a series of meetings with the top BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the cabinet expansion. They will also discuss the ongoing legal battle in the Supreme Court and also various scenarios if the apex court appoints a constitution bench.’’
Sources said that Shinde and Fadnavis will discuss with BJP leaders the portfolio allocations and the number of ministers to be inducted in the first phase. ‘’There is a possibility that initially only 14 ministers will be sworn in ahead of Independence Day so that they will make necessary preparations if the government decides to convene a monsoon session after August 20. The allocation of portfolios is crucial as BJP is keen on holding key portfolios including home, finance, cooperation while Shinde camp is expected to get urban development, public works, MSRDC, industry, agriculture. But Shinde camp is aggressively making a pitch for the energy department,’’ sources added.