Aspirants from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have launched hectic lobbying for their induction in the Uddhav Thackeray led cabinet. The expansion is expected to take place only after the conclusion of a week long winter session on December 21.
Newly elected legislators from state assembly are making a strong pitch for their induction as they are strongly opposed to ministerial berth to members of the state legislative council. Further, a large number of first time elected members and young legislators want that parties should make old guard ''margdarshak'' instead of making them ministers again.
Aspirants are aware that of the proposed 43 member state cabinet Shiv Sena will get 16 ministers comprising 11 cabinet and five ministers of state, NCP 15 comprising 11 cabinet and four ministers of state and Congress 12 comprising nine cabinet and three ministers of state. Parties will have to strive to maintain regional balance. Congress and NCP will also have to give ministerial berth to their allies.
Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, who were in the Devendra Fadnavis ministry have been retained in the new cabinet. However, former minister Diwakar Raote and Anil Parab, who are the member of legislative council, are quite keen to join the ministry. Further, former ministers Gulabrao Patil from Jalgaon district, Dada Bhuse from Nashik district, Ravindra Waikar from Mumbai are expecting yet another term.
As far as NCP is concerned, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, former ministers Dilip Walse Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Nawab Malik, Jitendra Avhad and former leader of opposition in the state council Dhananjay Munde are tipped off to be ministers. However, former minister Rajesh Tope who hails from Marathwada and Rajendra Shingne from Vidarbha and Raigad Zilla Parishad president and newly elected legislator from Roha seat Aditi Tatkare are batting for ministerial berth. Five-term legislator Balasaheb Patil, who comes from Satara district is the choice of NCP president Sharad Pawar.
NCP MP Praful Patel said the selection of legislators for ministerial berth will be taken in due course of time.
In case of Congress, the party is struggling to give region-wise representation and achieve proper mix between seniors and new members. Former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan are quite eager to join the cabinet. In addition, Yashomati Thakur, former ministers Varsha Gaikwad, Sunil Kedar, Satej Patil and Amit Deshmukh, Praniti Shinde, Vikas Thakre, Sangram Thopte and Vishwajeet Kadam have reportedly held talks with senior leaders for their induction.
State party chief Balasaheb Thorat, who was sworn in last week, hinted that party high command will take a decision on induction of legislators in the ensuing cabinet expansion.