Maharashtra cabinet to be sworn in tomorrow

Ashok Chavan

The Congress will have 23 ministers and NCP 20. While all NCP ministers are expected to take oath tomorrow, the Congress ministers would be sworn in two phases.

"We are going to form the new council of ministers tomorrow.  We will be staking claim to form the government this evening," said a beaming Chief Minister Ashok Chavan after a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Chavan evaded all questions on who will be included in the new ministry despite queries whether Rajendra Shekhawat, son of President Pratibha Patil, Mumbai regional Congress chief Kripa Shankar Singh and Maharashtra PCC chief Manikrao Thakre would be accommodated.

"I am not going to say who and how many will be taking oath tomorrow....Portfolios will be decided after swearing in," was his refrain to all such queries.

Chavan said "this will be 2009 formula" when asked whether Congress has agreed to NCP's demand for the continuation of 1999 formula of power sharing under which it had got key portfolios.

He, however, brushed aside questions like what ministries will be held by Congress and NCP, but made it clear that his party has not demanded either Rural Development or Tribal Welfare ministries as reported. 

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