As the NCP's issues are almost settled, the next expansion of the state cabinet and portfolio allocation for all the ministers is likely to take place this weekend.
Following the inclusion of the NCP in the alliance and the cabinet, there had been some resentment within the Shiv Sena and BJP MLAs. The resentment within the Shiv Sena was significant enough that CM Eknath Shinde had to return to Mumbai immediately on Tuesday evening after receiving President Draupadi Murmu at Nagpur. He was also conspicuously absent during the President's programs in the state on Wednesday.
In light of these circumstances, the government is hastening the expansion and portfolio allocation, according to sources.
The renovation of several cabins in the state assembly is currently underway. "The monsoon session of the assembly is starting on July 17th, and we have to complete the work as well as allocate cabins for the ministers before that," said a senior officer from the assembly secretariat, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Given the number of MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly, the council of ministers can have 43 members. Currently, it has 29 members with 10 each from the BJP and the Shiv Sena, while the NCP has 9. Of the 14 vacancies, at least 10 can be immediately filled by this weekend, sources within the government have said.
Meanwhile, after the meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs at CM's official residence Varsha, Industries Minister Uday Samant stated that there is no resentment within the party now, and the party workers have resolved to work harder to serve the people of the state, though he avoided questions regarding the possibility of cabinet expansion.
"We discussed the forthcoming assembly session and the parliamentary session. All Shiv Sena ministers and leaders were present at the meeting, and it was resolved that they will be regularly available at the party office to address the people's issues," said Samant.
"Issues were heard, and nine ministers have been given responsibility as district liaison ministers," he added, explaining what transpired at the meeting.
"CM Shinde was taken into confidence before all the developments. He briefed us about it. Now everyone has resolved to work for winning more seats in all forthcoming elections," he stated.
"DCM Devendra Fadnavis has himself clarified that the future elections will be contested under the leadership of Shinde. So there is no cause for any resentment," he responded to a query.
"There is no question of CM's resignation," he reiterated in response to other queries, adding that those who have left with no followers are spreading such rumors.