After more than a month, the cabinet expansion of Maharashtra government took place on Monday with 10 Congress MLAs taking oath as cabinet ministers. On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi met Congress Ministers of Maharashtra government at his residence in New Delhi. Senior party leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal, were also present. After meeting Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra Congress Chief Balasaheb Thorat, speaking to ANI, dismissed reports of a rift in Maha Vikas Aghadi over cabinet expansion.
He said, "Yesterday, the cabinet of the Maharashtra government was expanded. We 12 leaders met Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. We sought her blessing as well. We discussed the work we have to do ahead, based on the common minimum programme." Dismissing the rumours of a rift in the party after the expansion, Thorat said, "This is a process, we have so many good members but we can select few only. So we will talk to them to sort out their issues."
On Monday, there were reports that a rift broke between a faction of Congress over the allocation of portfolios in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. Sources said that the senior party leaders, including former Chief Ministers Prithviraj Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and leader Amin Patel, were purportedly disappointed over the decision of portfolio allocation. Both the former Chief Ministers and senior Congress leaders refrained from attending the oath-taking ceremony of the Maharashtra cabinet.
According to reports, Prithviraj Chavan chose to remain excluded from the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Cabinet supposedly over portfolio allotment. The Congress leader had allegedly asked for a higher portfolio citing his political stature, such as the Department of Revenue, Energy Ministry or Rural Development, which was refused by ally Shiv Sena. Purportedly, Prithviraj Chavan had put forth his condition demanding either a higher portfolio in the government or no post at all.
A month after allying with the BJP and becoming the deputy CM under Devendra Fadnavis for just 80 hours, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Monday again took oath as the deputy CM, this time under the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Uddhav's Son Aaditya Thackeray and former chief minister Ashok Chavan also took oath as Cabinet ministers. NCP leaders Nawab Malik, Dilip Walse Patil, Dhananjay Munde, and Congress’ Vijay Wadettiwar were also inducted into the Cabinet.