NCP leader and Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, who drew criticism from within the party as well as allies Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra for joining hands with the BJP, is reported to be the next Deputy Chief Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Ajit Pawar had held the position for a brief period before as well with Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Minister. The government sustained for 80 hours in the state and fell after Ajit Pawar failed to prove the support of other NCP legislators to Fadnavis.
On the early morning of November 23, the oath-taking of Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister came as a surprise move in Maharashtra politics as the NCP chief Sharad Pawar was in talks with the Congress and Shiv Sena over the possible formation of the coalition.
Ajit Pawar claimed the support of 54 NCP MLAs but had to back-off after 80-hour drama in the state politics.
As per the reports, the cabinet expansion is scheduled for December 30. However, there is no official confirmation from the party yet.
Presently, there are six legislators, two each from the three allies of MVA, who already got seats in the cabinet. The 288 seats Maharashtra Assembly can have a maximum of 42 ministers in the cabinet.
As per IANS, ten cabinet ministers and three ministers of state, from the Sena and the NCP, and eight cabinet ministers and two ministers of state from the Congress are likely to be inducted in the cabinet.
Two former CMs Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan are also expected to be inducted in the cabinet. It is to be noted that the Speaker post is with Congress and the Home Minister, as well as Chief Minister posts, are with Shiv Sena, which highs the speculation of Deputy Chief Minister post to NCP.
A major challenge for Uddhav Thackeray will be to allocate the posts in the cabinet in a balanced manner to the other two allies in the MVA alliance. He also have to give representations to the five regions in the state besides accommodating women, MLAs of different castes and minorities.