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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to expand his cabinet today

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who held meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on late Friday evening, made an official announcement on cabinet expansion today in New Delhi

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to expand his cabinet today
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
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Much awaited Maharashtra cabinet expansion will take place on Sunday, a day ahead of monsoon session of the state legislature. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who held meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on late Friday evening, made an official announcement on cabinet expansion today in New Delhi. 

Former leader of opposition in the state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, former minister Jaidutt Kshirsagar,  BJP legislators Ashish Shelar, Atul Save, Anil Bonde and Dr Sanjay Kute and Shiv Sena legislator Anil Parab are expected to be inducted in the ministry. The names of Shiv Sena legislators Rajendra Kshirsagar and Tanaji Sawant are also under consideration.

Shiv Sena is demanding the post of deputy chief minister as the party has proposed youth leader Aditya Thackeray’s name for the same. However, the party may not press for the same to avoid internal bickerings. Instead, the party will be happy in getting the post of deputy chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. The current strength of the cabinet is 37 and the prescribed norms permit the Chief Minister to induct five members.  Sources said Fadnavis may drop housing minister Prakash Mehta following Lokayukta’s strictures against him in the MP Mill compound SRA project. Others who may be axed include water supply minister Babanrao Lonikar, ministers of state Pravin Pote, Vidya Thakur and Raje Ambrishrao Raje Satyavanrao Atram. 

In addition, Fadnavis will induct Avinash Mahatekar who is a senior RPI leader and close associate of Union minister Ramdas Athawale. Shelar’s elevation is long pending as under his leadership BJP crossed 80 seats in the BMC and repeated victory in three Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai in the 2019 polls. Bonde, who comes from the underdeveloped Vidarbha region, has been quite vocal in defending BJP led government’s slew of pro-farmer policies. Save hails from Marathwada where the BJP has performed well in the Lok Sabha poll. In case of Parab, he is a close confidant of Thackeray and has been at the forefront to take up civic issues in the state legislature.

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