MUMBAI: Even as Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the portfolio allocation of the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra will be announced by Thursday evening, the meeting between the Sena and Congress leaders stretched on, delaying the announcement on Thursday. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said that the portfolio allocation had been finalised around a week ago and that the youth have been given preference.
He also said that the announcement will come “tomorrow if not today”. His comments came after the Shiv Sena, earlier in the day, admitted that there was a tussle among senior leaders of the three alliance partners over key ministries. When asked about it, Pawar said that there were no difference over portfolio allocation. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar conceded that his party wanted portfolios related to rural areas.
Speculation is rife over who will get which department. Particularly, the Home portfolio. Though the Shiv Sena currently holds the portfolio, it is likely to go to the NCP.While Deputy CM Ajit Pawar is likely to get finance, currently held by state NCP’s Jayant Patil, who might get irrigation, Sena heir apparent Aaditya Thackeray is likely to get environment and tourism departments, sources said.
The buzz is that Sena’s Eknath Shinde might get Urban Development and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan may get the Revenue department and PWD respectively. NCP’s Nawab Malik is likely to get Minority Affairs, said sources. Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde held meetings with Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan and Dr Nitin Raut. Sources said that it was about swapping of departments between the two.