No more glancing over shoulders: Shinde may expand cabinet

 - Sakshi Post

Mumbai, May 12 (IANS) With the Supreme Court judgement removing uncertainties on the state government, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is likely to take up the much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle-cum-expansion shortly, party leaders indicated here on Friday.

This will be critical ahead of the upcoming civic elections followed by the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls in 2024.

After toppling the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, Shinde was sworn-in as the Shiv Sena Chief Minister on June 30, 2022, with Bharatiya Janata Party's Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Earlier, Shinde-Fadnavis had managed the show for almost 40 days before 18 ministers, all Cabinet rank, were inducted on August 9, 2022.

Now, for nearly 10 months, Shinde has been running the show, heading a 20-member team, with all ministers holding multiple portfolios, in a 50:50 ratio between the two allies.

This had led to much heartburn among the leaders of both Shiv Sena-BJP as many senior leaders were left out of the Cabinet, besides pressures from the 10-plus independents and other smaller parties propping up the Shinde-Fadnavis government.

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has a total strength of 288 members, so the maximum ministers in the government can be 43 -- against the current strength of 20.

The government has also faced much flak for not having any woman as a Minister, inadequate regional representation and other issues, which may be corrected in the upcoming reshuffle-cum-expansion.

Besides a course correction on the regional or caste imbalances, the portfolios of some current ministers from both parties are likely to be shuffled based on their performance report card for the past 10 months.

Additionally, the positions of the Chairpersons of several government-run corporations and institutions, which are also lying vacant for almost a year, may be filled up after the cabinet exercise.

As per indications, the council of ministers could see an expansion and reshuffle prior to the monsoon session of the state legislature, normally scheduled in July.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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