Fad­navis to ex­pand his Cab­i­net by ides of June

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - San­jay Jog san­[email protected]­dia.net

Ahead of the mon­soon session of the state leg­is­la­ture slated to be­gin next week, Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis is ex­pected to ex­pand his Cab­i­net on June 14 or 15. For­mer leader of op­po­si­tion in the state As­sem­bly and vet­eran Congress leader Rad­hakr­ishna Vikhe Patil, who quit as the legislator, will get Cab­i­net berth. Be­sides, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leg­is­la­tors San­jay Kute (Jal­gaon-jamod in Buld­hana dis­trict) and Lax­man Jag­tap (Pim­pri-chinch­wad in Pune dis­trict) are tipped to be in­ducted in the Cab­i­net too.

If Fad­navis de­cides to drop hous­ing min­is­ter Prakash Me­hta in the wake of the Lokayukta re­port on the Tardeo MP Mill Com­pound case, se­nior BJP legislator Yo­gesh Sa­gar from Charkop, may be sworn in as Min­is­ter of State.

As far as the Sena is con­cerned, the party has urged Fad­navis to in­duct one min­is­ter of Cab­i­net rank and one min­is­ter of state rank in the en­su­ing ex­pan­sion. Sena has said that after the res­ig­na­tion of Dr Deepak Sawant as health min­is­ter,

the port­fo­lio is be­ing handled by pub­lic works min­is­ter Ek­nath Shinde. Thus, one min­is­ter holds an ad­di­tional de­part­ment. The Sena may rec­om­mend Jaidutt Kshir­sagar, who re­cently left the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) to join the saf­fron party, for Cab­i­net berth.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sud­hir Mun­gan­ti­war on Tues­day in­di­cated that the Sena and other al­lies will get rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Cab­i­net ex­pan­sion. min­is­ter of state rank in the en­su­ing ex­pan­sion. A BJP min said Fad­navis may not reshuf­fle Cab­i­net

Another BJP min­is­ter said Fad­navis may not reshuf­fle his Cab­i­net, but only carry out ex­pan­sion as the party has set an am­bi­tious tar­get of win­ning 130 plus seats in the en­su­ing As­sem­bly elec­tion slated for Septem­ber-oc­to­ber.

Deven­dra Fad­navis’ move to ex­pand the Cab­i­net comes when spec­u­la­tions are rife on an al­leged rift be­tween the Sena and BJP over port­fo­lio al­lo­ca­tion and the chief min­is­ter’s post in Ma­ha­rash­tra after the As­sem­bly elec­tion.

BJP has set a tar­get of win­ning 130 plus seats in up­com­ing As­sem­bly poll

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