M'rashtra Cabinet formation today


According to sources in both the Congress and NCP camps here, 20 ministers from each partner would be administered oath of office and secrecy by the governor S C Jamir at the Raj Bhavan.

The cabinet will be expanded later, to include two more members from the Congress, which gets 22 ministries plus the chief ministership. It is also learnt that the Congress will get the coveted rural development ministry, for which the party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was reportedly insistent.
The ministry is currently held by the NCP, which also has home, finance, public works, tribal development, water resources development and such plum ministries as per the 1999 formula.

The NCP, which was exerting pressure and standing tough in front of the Congress for past 13 days, came under pressure after the governor intervened and issued a virtual ultimatum to the two parties to settle their differences quickly and form the government.

Broad agreement
“We have broadly agreed on most of the issues,” said NCP leader and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who negotiated with the Congress high command on behalf of the NCP all these days, on Thursday night.

There was, however, no word about allocation of portfolios. The Congress has sought home and power from the NCP, besides rural development.
The two parties - the Congress with 82 seats and the NCP with 62 seats in the 288-member assembly - were haggling over allocation of portfolios, causing a delay in the forming of the new government. Results for the Assembly elections were declared on October 22.
Congress leader and caretaker Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday had promised to form a government in 48 hours after Jamir asked both the parties to “form a government without any further delay.”

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