Maharashtra: Uddhav to expand ministry on Monday

Nearly a month after he took over the reins of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to expand his council-of-ministers on Monday. 

Over the last fortnight,  leaders of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have held a series of meetings to undertake the exercise of Cabinet expansion.

As of now,  besides the CM,  the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has just six Cabinet ministers,  two each from the three parties.

On Monday,  as many as 36 ministers - including those of Cabinet rank and Ministers of State - could the inducted. 

The total strength of ministry in Maharashtra could be a maximum of 42 including the CM. 

According to indications on Sunday,  NCP President Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar - who rebelled last month - could be back as Deputy CM. 

While there have been reports that Congress too had demanded the post of Deputy CM,  it is unlikely as Congressman Nana Patole has been made the Speaker. 

Of the two senior leaders,  Ashok Chavan could be made a minister while Prithviraj Chavan could be accommodated as state Congress President. 

The three parties have framed a Common Minimum Programme (CMP). 

According to the initial seat-sharing formula, the Shiv Sena would get 15 ministers apart from the CM,  NCP 14 and Congress 12.

It may be recalled,  Pawar Jr had broken ranks to become Deputy CM under BJP CM Devendra Fadnavis,  but the government could last for 80 hours.  Fadnavis is now the Leader of Opposition.

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