The much-awaited cabinet expansion in Maharashtra will take place soon, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Saturday. The rebel Shiv Sena leader said this while he was leaving deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' residence in Mumbai after meeting him. "Cabinet expansion will be done soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has organised a program in Delhi for which Devendra Fadnavis is going to Delhi tomorrow," said Shinde.
Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took oath on June 30 and currently they are the only members of the state cabinet.
On Friday, rebel Shiv Sena legislator and former minister Uday Samant said the expansion of the Shinde-led cabinet will take place before August 15.
Samant, a spokesperson of the Sena's rebel faction led by Shinde, said Guardian ministers will hoist the tricolour in their respective districts on Independence Day.
Meanwhile, the opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) hit out at the Shinde government over the delay in cabinet expansion and asked if it was not getting 'mahurat' (auspicious time) to undertake the exercise.
Leaders of both the Shinde group and the BJP have repeatedly said the cabinet expansion will be done "soon", but nothing has happened so far, said the Sharad Pawar-led party.
State NCP spokesman Mahesh Tapase said more than 20 times it has been announced that cabinet expansion will be undertaken "soon".
"We demand immediate relief for farmers who have suffered crop losses in the recent heavy rains and floods," he said.
(With PTI inputs)