Cong may name candidates for Maharashtra cabinet in evening

New Delhi, Dec 23  The top Congress leadership is holding a meeting, here on Monday, over cabinet expansion in Maharashtra with Balasaheb Thorat, state Congress chief and a Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray government, attending.

The first round of meeting, also attended by Congress General Secretary and Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge, took place in the morning. The next round is scheduled in the evening where party interim chief Sonia Gandhi will finalise names to be inducted in the Maharashtra ministry.

Former Chief Ministers were unlikely to be accommodated in the ministry, sources said. Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is said to be keen to join the government. The expansion will also see regional and caste balance in the ministry.

The Congress has two Ministers – Nitin Raut and Balasaheb Thorat — and Nana Patole as the Speaker.

Intense lobbying was on for cabinet berths and an MLA belonging to the minority community could be inducted in the government from the Congress quota this time, sources said.