NEW DELHI: With the much-awaited Maharashtra cabinet expansion likely on Monday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to meet top leaders from the state to clear names of ministers from the party amid tussle over ministerial berths.
Sonia is supposed to meet Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and the party’s state in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday to discuss the names of ministerial probables.
As per the ministry sharing formula agreed upon by the three allies — Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, the grand old party is to get 12 ministerial berths, excluding the Speaker’s post.
During the swearing-in of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on November 28, Congress’ Nitin Raut and Thorat, Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena and Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP took oath along with him. Congress leader Nana Patole was elected Speaker.
The party has to now give names of 10 ministers who are expected to take oath on Monday, along with those from the Sena and NCP.
Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan; Amit Deshmukh, son of former state CM Vilasrao Deshmukh; Yashomati Thakur, three-time MLA and lone woman legislator from Vidarbha; Varsha Eknath Gaikwad, four-time Congress MLA and daughter of prominent state leader Eknath Gaikwad and senior MLA KC Padvi are in the running for cabinet berths.