In what seems like a political snub, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday did not attend the oath-taking ceremony of the expanded cabinet of the Thackeray-led Maharashtra government. Raut who is a close friend of the Thackeray family and is Sena's official spokesperson missed witnessing Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray who was sworn-in as a Cabinet Minister. Incidentally, Raut's younger brother- Sunil Raut has not been given a cabinet post and hence is reportedly miffed with CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Earlier in the day, during the cabinet expansion oath ceremony, Ajit Pawar once again took oath as Deputy CM after his three-day stint in November with the short-lived Fadnavis government. Shiv Sena's 13 ministers (10 - cabinet, 3 - MoS), NCP's 13 ministers (10 - cabinet, 3 - MoS) and Congress' 10 ministers (8 - cabinet, 2 - MoS) took oath on Monday at 12 PM in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha. This final list was finalised by the CM on Sunday.
The Winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly was held from December 16 to December 21 in Nagpur. The Opposition has slammed the delay, saying not many issues were debated and resolved in the Nagpur Assembly. Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers. The size of the council of ministers cannot exceed 15 percent of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.
Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra on November 28 along with six ministers — two each from alliance partners the Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress. This was preceded by 4-day CM stint by Fadnavis, which fell after Ajit Pawar rescinded his support after the Supreme Court ordered an open ballot floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly immediately. Both Fadnavis and Pawar resigned, ushering in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government with Shiv Sena allying with NCP-Congress after a fallout with BJP over a 50-50 power-sharing and shared CM post.