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Maharashtra Cabinet expansion; 18 MLAs take oath

The much-awaited expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet took place after 40 days after CM Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in.

SNS | Mumbai |

A total of 18 MLAs -9 each from BJP and from the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction took oath after sworn in as ministers in a grand ceremony in Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

The much-awaited expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet took place after 40 days after CM Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to 18 MLAs as ministers.

The BJP MLAs set to get cabinet berths include- Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Suresh Khade, Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil, Ravindra Chavhan, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Vijaykumar Gavit and Atul Save.
Leaders from Shiv Sena inducted include Dada Bhuse, Shambhuraje Desai, Sandeepan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar, Gulabrao Patil and Sanjay Rathod.

All the MLAs of the Eknath Shinde camp arrived at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai this morning to attend a meeting.

Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis his deputy on June 30. Later, Fadnavis and Shinde met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to power.

On August 6, he had said no ministerial-level powers have been given to the secretaries except in quasi-judicial matters.

The Opposition in the state had accused the Chief Minister of functioning as a two-member cabinet and having designed the decision-making powers to the bureaucrats.

Sudhir Mungantiwar is among the party’s prominent leaders in the state and has served as finance minister in the previous BJP-led government.

Mr Vikhe Patil, who shifted from the Congress to the BJP in 2019, has also been accommodated.

Among cabinet entrants from the Eknath Shinde camp is Dada Bhuse, an aide of Eknath Shinde who has earlier served as Agriculture Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Sena, NCP and the Congress. Uday Samant is MLA from Ratnagiri and a former NCP leader.

Mr Fadnavis, who had to settle for the Deputy Chief Minister post after a direction from the BJP high command, may get the Home portfolio in the cabinet.