The Weekend Leader - Uddhav Thackeray to expand cabinet on Dec 30

Uddhav Thackeray to expand cabinet on Dec 30



 Exactly 32 days after he was sworn-in on November 28, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is all set to expand his council of ministers, here on Monday.

Since past two weeks, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have held a series of meetings to finalise the Cabinet expansion plans.

Currently, besides the Chief Minister, the MVA government has just six Cabinet ministers, two each from the three parties.

On Monday, (December 30) around 36 ministers -- including those of Cabinet Minister and Minister of State ranks -- are likely to be inducted.

Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari will administer the oath to the new team around noon in the Maharashtra Legislature precinct.

The total strength of the ministry of Maharashtra cabinet can be maximum 42 including the Chief Minister.

As per latest indications on Sunday, Nationalist Congress President (NCP) President Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar, could bounce back as Deputy Chief Minister.

While there was speculation that Congress had eyed the post of Deputy Chief Minister, it is ruled out as Congressman Nana Patole has been made the Speaker.

Among the senior Congress leaders, Ashok Chavan could be made a minister while Prithviraj Chavan could be accommodated as state Congress president, as present state party chief Balasaheb Thorat is now a cabinet minister.

The three parties have framed a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and a seat-share formula.

According to the initial seat-sharing formula, the Shiv Sena would get 15 ministers apart from the Chief Minister, NCP 14 and Congress 12.

Last month on November 23, Ajit Pawar had rebelled and allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party to become Deputy Chief Minister under then BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

However, the two-man government could last just 80 hours.

Fadnavis is now in a new role as Leader of Opposition.IANS 

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