The cabinet expansion in Maharashtra saw Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar taking oath as Deputy CM. Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, he met NCP chief and his uncle Sharad Pawar this morning.
Other than Ajit Pawar, CM Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aditya Thackeray is also to take oath as a state minister.
From the Congress, leaders such as former CM Ashok Chavan, KC Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Amit Deshmukh, Sunil Kadar, Yashomati Thakur, Varsha Gaikwad and Aslam Sheikh are expected to take the oath. Satej Patil and Vishwajit Kadam from the party are also expected to be sworn-in as ministers of state.
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi led by Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray came into place on November 28 and currently has six cabinet ministers.
Before joining back the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance, Ajit Pawar had already taken oath as deputy CM under BJP government. His move shocked the prospective alliance as he was slammed by Sena leader Sanjay Raut for backstabbing not just the alliance but his uncle Sharad Pawar as well. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis in a shocking twist in Maharashtra, took oath the day the three parties were expected to form the government. The government didn’t last for more than 48 hours as Ajit was convinced to get back with uncle Sharad Pawar with the MLAs he took along to support Devendra Fadnavis-led government.
The Maharashtra drama seemed no less than a scripted battle where party preferences were shifting every now and then. Finally, Ajit Pawar’s re-induction into the party turned the wave in Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’s favour as they managed to form government in the state. The power hierarchy has Shiv Sena holding the chief ministerial berth given the party won maximum seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. The deputy CM is expected from NCP which has second-highest seats, followed by Congress which has its speaker in the Assembly.