Maharashtra BJP chief holds talks with allies expecting cabinet seat

Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve is currently holding talks with the party's 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance) partners over the delayed cabinet expansion and appointments to the state-run corporations. Sources in the BJP said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had got the central leadership's nod for expansion, and it is he who will decide who should be accommodated.

Raosaheb Danve
Raosaheb Danve

None of the Mahayuti allies have got ministerial berths at present. Danve today held meetings at his residence in New Delhi with leaders of Mahayuti: RPI chief Ramdas Athawale, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha's Mahadev Jankar, Shiv Sangram's Vinayak Mete and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) leader and MP Raju Shetti.

A senior BJP leader said Fadnavis was likely to drop some ministers for unsatisfactory performance. Recently, the CM had indicated that he would evaluate the performance of the BJP ministers before the expansion. Fadnavis was likely to expand the cabinet either later this month or before the monsoon session in July, the BJP leader added.

Earlier this week, RPI (Athawale faction) leader Avinash Mahatekar had said his party had demanded 50 per cent share in power and chairmanship of at least four state-run corporations. However, the BJP leader indicated that Mahayuti allies would be allocated two corporations each and not more. "Since Mete has already been made chairman of the Shiv Smarak Samiti, a cabinet-rank post, he or his faction is unlikely to be accommodated in coming expansion," he said.

Mahatekar and SSS faction leader Sadabhau Khot are tipped to be inducted in the cabinet, but they are not the members of either the Assembly or the Council, and may have to be accommodated in the list of candidates for the Legislative Council elections for 10 vacancies in July. "This was also one of the issues which were discussed at today's meetings with Danve," the BJP leader said.

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