Maha CM Shinde, Fadnavis discuss cabinet expansion with BJP central leadership
New Delhi, July 9: Newly-appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday held a meeting with the BJP President JP Nadda on cabinet expansion and the formula for dividing cabinet berths between BJP and Shiv Sena.
The BJP has offered 11 ministerial posts to the Shinde faction of Shiv Sena and has suggested that 29 ministers would be from the party, sources informed ANI.
It is reported that Shinde faction is in favour of keeping the Home Department with the Chief Minister. However, no official information has been given on this matter yet. This is the first visit of Shinde to the national capital as Maharashtra Chief Minister. Shinde and Fadnavis had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday.
There is a buzz of the cabinet expansion in two phases and the meeting is significant amid the likelihood of the expansion taking place before the presidential election on July 18.
Their visit to the national capital comes ahead of a crucial hearing in the Supreme Court on July 11 on a petition filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena seeking disqualification of Shinde and 15 MLAs of his faction. « We have faith in the judiciary, » Shinde told reporters in the national capital, asserting the group led by him had the support of two-thirds of the Shiv Sena MLAs.
The Shiv Sena had 55 MLAs before the split triggered by Shinde’s revolt. « The Speaker has also granted us recognition, » he said. Shinde was sworn in as chief minister on June 30 with the support of the BJP after he rebelled against the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, walking out of the Shiv Sena with a large chunk of MLAs leading to the fall of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. Shinde won the trust vote in the Maharashtra assembly on July 4.