Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis likely to go for cabinet expansion soon
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to undertake the cabinet expansion next month. This was revealed by Minister for Cooperation and Marketing Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday. “ The cabinet expansion is high on the agenda. There is still scope to induct atleast 12 ministers in the cabinet,” said Patil.
However, sources in the CMO revealed that the final details on number of ministers including accommodating smaller allies is being worked out. It could be anything between eight to 12 ministers.
At present the Fadnavis cabinet has 30 ministers. Out of which 20 belong to BJP and ten to Shiv Sena. Insiders disclosed, “There is a possibility to induct four to six ministers from the BJP. There would be two ministers from smaller allies namely Rashtriya Samaja Party and Republican Party of India. And two from Shiv Sena.”
The front runner from the BJP in the next expansion are Sambhaji Patil Nilengekar, Jaiprakash Rawal and Chainsukh Sancheti. The party is still weighing the pros and cons about taking a decision on induction of a candidate from Mumbai. Sources revealed they would have to decide one candidate from three contenders —- Raj Purohit, Ashish Shelar and Mangalprabhat Lodha.
The Fadnavis government was administered the oath of office on October 31. Initially, it was ten member council lead by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. On December 4, the cabinet expansion took place where Shiv Sena took the decision to join the BJP in the government.
Almost ten Shiv Sena minister of which five were of cabinet ranks and five ministers of state rank were inducted. Ten BJP ministers of which cabinet rank (5) and ministers of state (5) were inducted in the government.
In Maharashtra, the permissible limit of ministers in the cabinet is 42. At present CM is leading a 30 member team. Which means he can induct atleast 12 more ministers in the government.
The Shiv Sena already had struck a deal of 12 ministers representation in the cabinet. It includes five cabinet rank and seven ministers of state rank. Since Sena already have ten ministers, two more candidates would get into the cabinet.
The bigger jostle for the chief minister is to deal with the in-house aspirations. And also accommodate the smaller allies who were part of their pre-poll alliance during the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
There are four smaller parties —-RPI, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Rashtriya Samaj Party and Shivsangram. However, none of these four allies could win a single seat in the house of 288 MLAs.
Yet, all four alliance partners are lobbying to get a berth in the cabinet. The BJP intends to accommodate the concerns of two parties and accommodate other two parties candidates in state corporations (mahamandals).