Updated: Tue, 09 Aug 2022 12:20 PM IST
Nearly 40 days after forming the government with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday expanded his cabinet as 18 MLAs were sworn in as ministers. Out of the 18 lawmakers, nine are from the BJP while the rest are from the Shinde faction of Shiv Sena.
BJP MLAs including state chief Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Suresh Khade, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Ravindra Chavhan, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Vijaykumar Gavit and Atul Save were sworn in as minister in CM Eknath Shinde's council of ministers
From the Shiv Sena faction, Dada Bhuse, Sandeepan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar, Gulabrao Patil, Sanjay Rathod and Shambhuraje Desai, took oath as minister in Shinde cabinet.
However, Shinde's Council of Ministers doesn't include a woman. The strength of the Maharashtra ministry has now gone up to 20, less than half the maximum allowed strength of 43. The next round of expansion will take place later.
Governor B S Koshyari administered the oath of office to the ministers. The event, scheduled to begin at 11 am was delayed by 15 minutes. No minister of state was sworn in today. There will be another ministry expansion later, an aide of Shinde said.
While BJP has inducted Lodha, who hails from Mumbai, the Shinde group hasn't included any legislator from the financial capital, where municipal corporation elections are slated later this year.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday morning met Shiv Sena legislators backing him, ahead of the expansion of his two-member ministry. Shinde is backed by 40 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs. Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM on June 30.
Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Patil had earlier served as revenue minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in the state, while Ballarpur MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar was the finance minister in the previous BJP regime. Shirdi MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who shifted from Congress to the BJP in 2019, has also been accommodated.
Among cabinet entrants from Eknath Shinde camp is Dada Bhuse, an aide of Shinde who has earlier served as Agriculture Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Uday Samant, MLA from Ratnagiri and former NCP leader, has also been inducted as a minister in the new cabinet. Meanwhile, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis may get the Home portfolio in the cabinet.