After a series of talks to resolve outstanding concerns that were delaying the move amid squabbling over the Home Ministry in the state, sources have suggested that the Maharashtra cabinet expansion is expected to take place this week.
When asked about the appointment of new ministers, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters in Delhi that the Maharashtra cabinet will grow “before you can even think.”
According to insiders, Mr. Fadnavis is expected to get the Home portfolio, opening the door for cabinet enlargement in Maharashtra, which has only had a two-member cabinet since June 30.
Mr. Fadnavis and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde were in Delhi over the weekend because Mr. Shinde attended a NITI Aayog conference with 22 other chief ministers.
Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule is the MP from Baramati, the Pawar family bastion in western Maharashtra, according to Mr. Fadnavis. The latter also revealed that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had coordinated efforts to improve the BJP’s performance.
According to Mr. Fadnavis, the BJP has set out on a mission to increase its presence in Maharashtra ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by locating 16 parliamentary districts where the opposition has a history of consistently winning elections.
These seats, according to him, included several that Team Shinde-affiliated Shiv Sena officials controlled.
The BJP will endeavor to ensure that the incumbent Lok Sabha MPs from these seats win the elections since the Shiv Sena and BJP would be running in a partnership.