Maharashtra BJP discusses Cabinet expansion with smaller allies
Maharashtra BJP today held parleys with its smaller allies regarding accommodating them in the proposed cabinet expansion slated to take place before the winter session of the state legislature beginning December 7 in Nagpur
Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP today held parleys with its smaller allies regarding accommodating them in the proposed cabinet expansion slated to take place before the winter session of the state legislature beginning December 7 in Nagpur.
Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve met Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athavale, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha chief Mahadev Jankar, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana leader Raju Shetti at the official residence of PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil.
Also present were Sadabhau Khot of Swabimani Shetkari Sangthana and Vinayak Mete of Shiv sangram party.
Mete and Jankar are members of the Maharashtra Legislative Council.
Danve told reporters the date of Cabinet expansion will be decided by BJP core committee headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis which will meet tonight.
"The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere. The allies did not put any preconditions," he added.
The government can have a maximum of 42 ministers in the state.
The state PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil had recently told PTI that out of the 12 vacancies in the ministry - BJP will keep six, two will be given to Shiv Sena and four to the smaller allies.
"It is not yet clear whether Fadnavis will fill in the six vacancies from the BJP quota as yet," he had said.
Another BJP leader said two ministers of state will be from Shiv Sena. But, the party wants one cabinet berth as well.
Athavale, a Rajya Sabha member from the BJP quota, told reporters that he was firm on his demand for a Cabinet berth at the Centre and the state.
To a question on speculation of ministerial berth for his wife Seema in the state council of ministers, the RPI leader said he had not made such a demand.
Jankar said he was confident that the smaller allies will be accommodated in the state ministry.
Raju Shetti, Lok Sabha member from Ichalkaranji, said the meeting deliberated on the state government's programmes and policies.
"We put forward our suggestions as well. We want that the assurance given to us regarding power sharing be implemented," he added.
Mete said the BJP had assured the smaller allies of Cabinet berths.
Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister on October 31 last year with seven cabinet and two ministers of state.
When Shiv Sena joined the government later in December, the strength of the ministry increased to 30.
Presently, there are 20 ministers from BJP and ten from Shiv Sena.