Maharashtra: Sena, Congress keen on immediate cabinet expansion

The power-sharing formula and the distribution of ministerial portfolios among the parties has almost been finalised (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar/File)

After passing the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is reportedly keen to expand his cabinet. But while both the Shiv Sena and the Congress are pushing for an immediate expansion, the NCP has sought more time, said sources.

On Sunday, Thackeray, who had inducted seven ministers in his council a day earlier, had said that the portfolio allocation would be carried out within two days.

With the Winter Session of the state legislature to commence in Nagpur on December 16, sources said, Thackeray is keen to carry out an expansion before it. On the other hand, NCP’s Praful Patel has hinted that the expansion might take place post the week-long session.

According to sources, the NCP is yet to finalise the candidature for the Deputy Chief Minister’s post. Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil, who has already been inducted as a minister, and Pawar’s nephew Ajit are in the race, with a majority of the party legislators backing the latter.

The power sharing formula and the distribution of ministerial portfolios among the parties has almost been finalised. According to a senior leader, barring school education, industries, and energy portfolios, on which all the three sides have staked claim, a consensus has been reached on other portfolios.

The Shiv Sena is expected to retain Urban Development, Water Resources, Water Supply and Sanitation, Rural Development, Housing, Agriculture, Law and Judiciary, among other portfolios. The NCP is expected to get Home, Finance and Planning, Forests, Medical Education, Women and Child Development, among others. The Congress is likely to bag Revenue, Cooperatives, Public Works, Public Health, and Higher and Technical Education departments, among others.