MUMBAI: The Maharashtra cabinet will be expanded on Sunday and a final meeting on the ministers to be inducted will be held later Saturday night, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Delhi.
Raj Bhavan sources said the swearing-in ceremony will held at 11am on Sunday, a day before the monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature, the last before Assembly polls later this year, begins. "I have had one meeting (on cabinet expansion) and the final meeting will be held tonight," the Maharashta CM said.
In the last few days, both Fadnavis and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had given enough indications about a cabinet expansion.
Earlier, on Friday night, Fadnavis had met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and discussed about the ministers to be inducted in his cabinet. "I met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshri and discussed in detail cabinet expansion," Fadnavis had tweeted late Friday night.
शिवसेना पक्ष प्रमुख मा. उद्धव ठाकरेजी यांची आज मातोश्री येथे भेट घेतली आणि मंत्रिमंडळ विस्तारासंदर्भात विस्तृत चर्चा केली.— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) June 14, 2019
The Republican Party of India (Athawale) Saturday announced that its leader Avinash Mahatekar will be inducted into the Fadnavis government in Sunday's expansion.
Currently, there are 37 ministers including the chief minister, and Fadnavis can accommodate another five. A vacancy was created in 2018 when BJP's Pandurang Fundkar died, the then agriculture minister. The portfolio is now being handled by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil.
Deepak Sawant, then health minister, resigned earlier this year and the department is being looked after by Eknath Shinde, who is also the PWD minister. Parliamentary Affairs and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat resigned after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Pune.
His portfolios are being shared by Education Minister Vinod Tawde and Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal. While the BJP has 16 cabinet ministers and seven ministers of state (MoS), its main all Shiv Sena has five cabinet ministers and only one MoS. Smaller allies have one cabinet and MoS post each.