Maharashtra Cabinet expansion: 12 Shiv Sena leaders join Devendra Fadnavis govt

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expands cabinet.

Mumbai, Dec 5: Ten cabinet ministers, five each from Shiv Sena and BJP, were inducted in the 34-day-old cabinet of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here on Friday.

Maharashtra Governor Vidysagar Rao administered the oath of office to the new ministers at Vidhan Bhawan.

According to reports, Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai, Divakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam, Eknath shinde and Deepak Sawant were inducted as Cabinet Ministers, along with BJP MLAs: Girish Bapat, Girish Mahajan, Chandrashekhar Baban Kule, Babanrao Lonikar and Raj Kumar Badole.

Other BJP MLAs including Vijay Deshmukh, Ram Shinde, Ranjit Patil, Pravin Pote along with Shiv Sena MLAs – Sanjay Rathod, Dada Bhuse, Vijay Shivtare, Deepak Kesarkar, Ambrish Raje Atram, Ravindra Vaykar – were inducted as Minister of State.

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde had earlier tendered his resignation as the Leader of the Opposition, ahead of the oath taking ceremony today.

Weeks after squabbling over allocation of portfolios, the Shiv Sena finally joined the BJP-led government ahead of the crucial Winter Session which is scheduled to begin in Nagpur on December 8.

The reunion of the two erstwhile allies, which had snapped their ties just before Assembly polls in October, is expected to provide stability to the Fadnavis government which now got the strength of 183 — well past the halfway mark of 144 in the Assembly.

It may be noted that the BJP has a strength of 121 legislators and the Shiv Sena 63.

Earlier on Thursday, Fadnavis had also announced the formation of a co-ordination committee which will decide how to co-operate in the upcoming municipal elections in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai had reportedly said the two parties have decided to come together again and run a stable government in the state as per the mandate of the people.

Shiv Sena, however, has been denied the post of deputy chief minister as the chief minister had stated that that there will be no such post in his government.

In the first BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government in 1995-99, the Sena hadheld the post of chief minister and the BJP had the deputy chief minister’s post.

Today’s expansion is expected to bring relief to the BJP-led government as it is all set to face its first full-fledged winter session starting from Monday.

Another expansion is reportedly also on cards but only after the Winter Session. The decision on including other smaller alliance partners would be taken in due course, Fadnavis had stated.

(With Agency Inputs)

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