MUMBAI: In the much-awaited reshuffle, 13 new ministers were inducted in the Maharashtra State cabinet led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday.
Five ministers of the existing cabinet are learnt to have tendered their resignations.
The expansion of the cabinet came just a day ahead of the state legislature’s monsoon session that begins from Monday. The expansion was necessitated due to charges of corruption against housing minister Prakash Mehta who was indicted by the Lokayukta. Also, the new entrants of both the alliance partners were to be accommodated.
As expected, veteran Congress leader and former leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who rebelled against the Congress after his son Sujay was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections, and NCP legislator Jaidutta Kshirsagar, who joined the Shiv Sena a month ago, were both inducted as cabinet ministers.
Vikhe Patil has quit as Congress MLA but is yet to join the BJP.
Among those who have tendered their resignations and are likely to be dropped are three cabinet ministers— Prakash Mehta (housing), Vishnu Savra (tribal development) and Rajkumar Badole (social justice)— and two ministers of state — Raje Ambarish Atram (tribal development) and Dilip Kamble (social justice). All five are from the BJP.
The cabinet reshuffle was finalised on Saturday after BJP chief Amit Shah approved the rejig proposal during CMs' Delhi visit on sidelines of NITI Aayog meeting.
BJP leaders Ashish Shelar (Mumbai), Anil Bonde (Amravati), Atul Save (Aurangabad), Sanjay Kute (Shegaon, Buldhana), Suresh Khadse (Sangli) and Sanjay Beghde (Maval), Avinash Mahatekar of RPI(A) and Shiv Sena’s Tanaji Sawant from Yavatmal were the others who were inducted in the cabinet today.
Late Friday, Fadnavis held a meeting with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and apprised him about the Cabinet expansion