The swearing-in ceremony of new ministers is taking place at Raj Bhavan

Mumbai:

Five MLAs from the BJP and four from the Shiv Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde are expected to be sworn in at the much awaited cabinet expansion in Maharashtra today, according to sources.

Chief Minister Shinde today met MLAs of his camp ahead of the ceremony this morning. He is backed by 40 of the 55 Sena MLAs.

The cabinet expansion comes 40 days after a rebellion by a Shiv Sena faction brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

The Opposition had criticised the delay in expanding the cabinet following the swearing-in of Eknath Shinde, who led the rebellion, as chief minister and the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy in June.

For the ministers posts in the BJP’s quota, the names of party leaders Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Girish Mahajan and Suresh Khade are doing the rounds.

From the Sena camp led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Dada Bhuse, Uday Samant, Gulabrao Patil and Sandipan Bhumare are expected to be sworn as ministers.

Chandrakant Patil is the state unit chief of the BJP and a legislator from Kothrud. He has earlier served as revenue minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government.

Sudhir Mungantiwar, the other name doing the round, 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, is also expected to get a cabinet berth.

The other names doing the rounds are Girish Mahajan, former minister known to be close to Mr Fadnavis, and Suresh Khade, also a former minister.

The Shinde camp, whose mutiny toppled the Uddhav Thackeray government, are expected to get four cabinet berths.

Among the names doing the rounds 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, MLA from Ratnagiri and a former NCP leader, may also get a ministerial berth.

Gulabrao Patil and Sandipan Bhumare are also expected to be accommodated in the cabinet.

Apart from these, some other MLAs may too get cabinet berths in this expansion.

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.

The cabinet expansion comes after a series of meetings between Mr Shinde and the BJP leadership, which saw the chief minister fly down to Delhi several times to discuss the names of probables with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, among others.



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