Fadnavis to expand his Cabinet by ides of June
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