Several names emerge for ministerial berths in Maha

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

As the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress are inching closer to forming a government in Maharashtra, several names have emerged for the ministerial berth. 

The Shiv Sena is likely to lead the government for full five-year term with its nominee as chief minister. There could be two deputy chief ministers, one each from the Congress and NCP.

The strength of the ministry in Maharashtra, that has 288 Assembly seats in Vidhan Sabha, is limited to 42 including the CM. The power sharing could be in ratio of 15-15-12 and the three parties may keep one seat vacant each for future inclusion. For factors of stability, the NCP-Congress are insisting that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray lead the government. 

In case, Uddhav choses to decline, then Subhash Desai, a loyalist of the Thackeray or Eknath Shinde, the top grassroots organiser, could land up in the top job. Journalist-politician Sanjay Raut could be the dark horse in the race.

From the NCP and Congress, the two probable deputy chief ministers are Ajit Pawar, the nephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Balasaheb Thorat, the state Congress president.

The probable ministers from the Shiv Sena include Diwakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam, Deepak Kesarkar, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Ravindra Waikar, Gulabrao Patil, Abdul Sattar and Dadaji Bhuse. From the NCP side, besides Ajit Pawar, the minsters list could include names of Dilip Walse-Patil, Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Nawab Malik, Dhananjay Munde, Jitendra Ahwad and Rajesh Tope.

From the Congress side, there are two MLAs who are former chief ministers - Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan - and both are likely to decline the ministerial berths, if they are not of significance. The Congress probables include Satej Patil, Nana Patole, Yashomati Thakur, Vishwajeet Kadam, Nitin Raut and Sunil Kedar.

"The ministry would have a mix of experienced and young faces. There would be representation of women. Besides all regions Mumbai-Konkan, Western Maharashtra, North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha would be given representation," informed sources said.
 

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