Though Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had indicated couple of days back that the much talked about expansion of his cabinet might take place this week, it doesn’t appear to be happening over the weekend.
Now, it may take place in the first week of July, reliable sources have said.
Late arrival of Monsoon is said to be the primary reason for postponement of the expansion. Several meetings had to be held and things had to be put in place had the arrival of Monsoon been delayed any further. That put all the other issues on the backseat, said sources in the government.
On the other hand, party sources confirmed that the top leadership of the Shiv Sena and BJP are yet to be consulted over the issue.
The cabinet expansion has lingered a bit too long. It was supposed to have taken place early this month, before the national executive meet of the BJP. But, the plans had to be deferred due to late arrival of Monsoon. The next probable dates for expansion were tipped to be after the state BJP conclave in Pune over last weekend. Fadnavis himself too had indicated that the cabinet would be expanded this week. But, Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray went on a foreign tour and the plans had to be postponed once again.
Thackeray is expected to be back by next week, by when CM would have a word with BJP president Amit Shah and union minister NitinGadkari over the names of ministers who are to be included in the cabinet once again.
The Monsoon session of the assembly is starting on July 18 and the new ministers would need some time before the government faces the session. Also, the government won’t have its’ most experienced Minister EknathKhadse to save it from any crisis situation in the assembly during the session. Keeping in view all these things the cabinet expansion is most likely to happen in the first week of July.
Though, there had been harsh exchanges of words between the BJP-Sena leaders lately, there won’t be any problems in Shiv Sena joining the cabinet with two more ministers of state, the sources said.
The BJP had also been trying to woo other smaller allies. The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, the RPI (A) and the RSP had a meeting at Delhi recently with top BJP leadership, where leaders of these parties pleaded for their share of power. However, inclusion of all of them in the cabinet hangs in uncertainty.