Mumbai, Dec 30: Monday’s Cabinet expansion in Maharashtra will see NCP’s Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena’s Aditya Thackeray among those being inducted as ministers.
Aditya Thackeray is Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son and the first member of the Thackeray clan to have contested and entered the Assembly. Ajit Pawar is the nephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and had briefly broken away to join hands with the BJP to form the shortlived Devendra Fadnavis government.
Around 30 members are expected to be inducted in Monday’s expansion. The Cabinet expansion comes 32 days after Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Chief Minister of a coalition comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress parties, known as Maha Vikas Aghadi. Currently the ministry comprises of seven members apart from the Chief Minister.
Earlier, when the Shiv Sena and BJP had been allies and fought the assembly elections, Aditya Thackeray had been projected as the Deputy Chief Minister. However, when the alliance broke and Shiv Sena tied up with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, his father Uddhav Thackeray became the Chief Minister.
Ajit Pawar who was the Deputy Chief Minister in the shortlived Fadnavis government, has since returned to the NCP fold and it was widely believed that he would be rehabilitated. According to sources, Ajit Pawar is likely to be anointed as Deputy Chief Minister.
Monday’s Cabinet expansion will also see 10 members from the Congress taking the oath of office. Notables include former Chief Minister Ashokrao Chavan, Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh, the son of late former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.