Maha Politics: Shinde-Fadnavis In Delhi To Iron Out Creases

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By: Rajgopal
Updated: 31 July, 2022 2:45 pm IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (right) and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (TNI Photo by Sumit Kumar)

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis met the top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership in Delhi on Saturday night. The agenda was to iron out the creases in the cabinet expansion in Maharashtra.

Top BJP sources in Delhi told The New Indian that work on cabinet expansion is in full swing and there will be a cabinet expansion soon.

Another source in Delhi told The New Indian that when a party wins a full majority of its own, ministry allocation is easier. “But in situations like Maharashtra, it’s always difficult. So, it’s taking time,” he said.

After the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief minister on June 30. The former chief minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Deputy chief minister.

Of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs in Maharashtra, 40 rebelled against the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray and joined Eknath Shinde. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the assembly.

On July 3, BJP’s Rahul Narvekar was elected Maharashtra Assembly Speaker with 164 votes.

Another source in New Delhi told The New India, “The rebel MLAs are also hopeful that they will get something but everybody can’t be accommodated in the council of ministers. Despite being the senior partner in the coalition, BJP has given chief ministership to Eknath Shinde.”

Maharashtra has an assembly strength of 288 and there can be a maximum of 43 ministers, including the Chief minister. The BJP is ready to accommodate 16 ministers from the Eknath Shinde camp. “Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is having marathon meetings with his MLAs to build a consensus. Soon a formula will be worked out,” the second source said.

For a month now, it is only CM Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis who are running the Maharashtra government. Deputy CM Fadnavis has made some important bureaucratic appointments to help him discharge his duties in the state.

A source in Maharashtra BJP told The New Indian that there was massive resentment against the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray in Shiv Sena which resulted in the rebellion.

“But, still there are 15 MLAs with Uddhav Thackeray. The resentment of three-four MLAs in the Eknath Shinde camp could be problematic. So, CM Shinde is not taking any chances. Anti-defection law also requires that more than two-thirds of MLAs stay with CM Shinde,” he said.

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