As per sources, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to expand his cabinet on December 24. Apart from Thackeray, there are only 6 ministers who are functioning currently. This led to a lot of criticism from the opposition.
Sources reveal that both Congress and NCP held their internal meetings in the morning to decide on the prospective names. In the evening, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to finalise the names from her party. According to sources, two former Chief Ministers are unlikely to feature in the Cabinet. Moreover, an MLA from the minority community could be inducted from the Congress quota.
On December 12, the portfolios were allocated to the ministers in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. While Sena bagged Home, Urban Development, Environment, Forests, Industries and Mining and Agriculture, NCP was allocated portfolios such as Rural Development Water Resources, Finance, and Public Health. On the other hand, Congress is handling the Public Works Department, Education, Women, and Child Development and the Tribal Development ministries. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is in charge of all other portfolios that have already not been allocated to any Minister.
1. Uddhav Thackeray: All portfolios other than those allocated to other ministries
2. Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena): Home, Urban Development, Environment, Forests
3. Balasaheb Thorat (Congress): Revenue, School Education, Medical Education
4. Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP): Rural Development, Water Resources
5. Jayant Patil (NCP): Finance & Planning, Public Health
6. Nitin Raut (Congress): Public Works Department, Women and Child Development, Tribal Development
7. Subhash Desai (Shiv Sena): Industries and Mining, Agriculture
Earlier, it was reported that a formula had been worked out whereby the three parties would get ministries proportionate to their strength in the Assembly. But a dispute over key portfolios had reportedly held up the process of allocating the ministries. Confusion persists over who would become the next Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. While it was announced that he would be from NCP's quota, party chief Sharad Pawar has declined to comment whether Ajit Pawar would get the post.
(with inputs from agencies)