Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde Meets Amit Shah In Delhi Amid Reports Of Cabinet Expansion Ahead Of State Polls

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde Meets Amit Shah In Delhi Amid Reports Of Cabinet Expansion Ahead Of State Polls

Currently, there are around 15 vacant ministerial positions, which the Chief Minister aims to fill with candidates from the three ruling parties before the government’s term ends in October. The aspirants, especially from Shiv Sena, have been exerting massive pressure on party leadership.

Prathamesh KharadeUpdated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 01:38 PM IST
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Eknath Shinde with Amit Shah | Twitter

Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde made an unexpected trip to Delhi late Sunday night to meet with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the upcoming state cabinet expansion before the monsoon session, which begins on Thursday. Alongside the expansion, the state government is also set to finalise appointments to various statutory boards and corporations, said a report by Hindustan Times.

Currently, there are around 15 vacant ministerial positions, which the Chief Minister aims to fill with candidates from the three ruling parties before the government’s term ends in October. The aspirants, especially from Shiv Sena, have been exerting massive pressure on party leadership.

'Move To Charge The Party Base': Shiv Sena Leader

A Shiv Sena leader from the Chief Minister's camp told HT that the lack of elected members in municipal corporations and district councils has led to unrest and a lack of motivation among party workers. Since immediate local body elections are not feasible, filling the cabinet positions is seen as a way to energise the party base.

The existing cabinet includes 10 members each from the Shinde camp and the BJP and nine from the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Following the resignation of Shinde camp member Sandipan Bhumre, who was elected to the Lok Sabha, their strength has reduced to eight. In the upcoming expansion, each party is expected to receive 3-5 berths, with 10 of the 15 new appointees anticipated to be ministers of state.

According to the report, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Shirsat reportedly that the final decision would be made after a meeting between the Chief Minister and the two Deputy Chief Ministers.

However, an NCP leader from the Ajit Pawar faction expressed doubts about the timing. He indicated that if the expansion does not occur within the next two days, it may not happen at all. The Chief Minister faces the significant challenge of convincing his two allies to accept the number of berths allocated to them. Following this, the respective party leaders will have the difficult task of selecting the right aspirants from within their ranks.

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