Maharashtra CM Shinde in trouble as Shiv Sena MLAs push for cabinet expansion – News18

Sources said that many Shiv Sena MLAs are demanding that they should get a place in the cabinet this time. (File Image: News18)

Sources told News18 that the chief minister assured the MLAs in a meeting that the cabinet expansion would happen before the monsoon session of the assembly, which begins on July 17.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde Sources told News18 on Monday that there is pressure from Shiv Sena MLAs on the issue of cabinet expansion. Sena MLAs who joined the Shinde faction last year were promised cabinet berths, but so far only 10 of them (including Shinde) have become cabinet ministers as they defected to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi last year. Rebelled to topple the government. Shiv Sena leaders like Bharat Gogavale, Sanjay Shirsat, Prakash Surve and Independent MLA Bachchu Kadu who supported Shinde during his rebellion are not happy over the delay in cabinet expansion.

Sources said that in the recently held meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs, this thing was told to CM Eknath Shinde in very strong words. According to a leader aware of the developments, Shinde assured his legislators that the cabinet expansion would happen before the monsoon session of the Maharashtra state assembly, which begins in Mumbai on July 17.

Talking to the media, CM Shinde said, “The cabinet expansion will happen soon.” But he did not give any exact date.

Reacting to the issue, former cabinet minister and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Aditya Thackeray took to Twitter.

According to the information received, the meeting called by Shinde with his MLAs last Wednesday was stormy. Many Shiv Sena MLAs are demanding that this time they should get a place in the cabinet. Many legislators were of the opinion that leaders like Uday Samant, Dada Bhuse, Sanjay Rathod, Shambhuraj Desai, Abdul Sattar and Deepak Kesarkar were given responsibilities as cabinet ministers or ministers of state in 2014, 2019 and 2022. That’s why this time new faces should be included in the cabinet and portfolios of senior ministers should be given to new faces. Sources said that in the same meeting, some legislators also said that the caste equation should be kept in mind while inducting new legislators in the cabinet.

Sources say that even in the BJP, the situation is a bit turbulent. Though the dissidence in the party is not as visible as it is in the Shiv Sena, many leaders are keen to know whether he will find a place in the cabinet this time. According to some leaders, BJP MLAs like Sanjay Kute, Madhuri Misal, Ashish Shelar and Nitesh Rane are some of the possible names who may get cabinet berths or responsibilities as ministers of state in the cabinet expansion. But sources said who will get which portfolio is still a mystery as Ajit Pawar is also bargaining hard for important portfolios like finance, revenue and energy. All these departments are with the BJP. Sources said Shinde is said to have made it clear to the BJP that he will not give portfolios to Ajit Pawar and his team from the Shiv Sena quota.

Speaking to News18 in Mumbai, senior BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, ‘One or two angry MLAs do not represent the voice of all 40-50 Shiv Sena MLAs. Just as we cannot make all BJP MLAs ministers, similarly we cannot make all Shiv Sena MLAs ministers. Some will have to make sacrifices or wait for their time.”

The monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly will begin from July 17. Some candidates aspiring to make it to the cabinet are of the opinion that the cabinet expansion should be done before Thursday so that the newly inducted ministers get some time to get to know their portfolios. Because being the minister of that department, he will have to face the questions of the MLAs on the floor of the House and give satisfactory answers to their questions.