A day after the oath ceremony of the cabinet ministers of Maharashtra government took place, on Tuesday, Congress MLAs met Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. According to sources, a rift broke out within the party over the allocation of portfolios amid the cabinet expansion, with a number of senior leaders miffed at being excluded. Additionally, state in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge has been called in to look into the matter and handle the situation.
Further, sources added that the leaders within the meeting also raised Prithviraj Chavan's issue as he was denied a cabinet berth . In opposition, another faction of leaders contended that there are leaders who are working for the party from the last 30 years but were never inducted in the cabinet, and Prithviraj Chavan being a senior leader should understand the same and maintain the decorum in the party.
On Monday, reports surfaced of a rift between factions 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. He had allegedly demanded that he be given a higher portfolio or no portfolio 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.
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.