Amid mounting pressure from the Congress and NCP on the state BJP over alleged irregularities committed by its ministers, party national president Amit Shah is also set to visit city on Tuesday. If party insiders are to be believed, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely go for a Cabinet reshuffle as well as expansion before the monsoon session.
Soon after taking charge, Fadnavis had on December 5, 2014 expanded the Cabinet to accommodate Sena members. During the first expansion 20 ministers were inducted in the Cabinet, taking the size to 30.
As per constitutional provision, the CM can have a maximum of 42 ministers – the present Cabinet has 20 BJP and 10 Sena ministers. While utilising the remaining slots, analysts say, Fadnavis will have to perform a balancing act as BJP’s smaller alliance partners, including Rashtriya Samaj Party, RPI (Athavale faction), Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and Shivsangram led by Vinayak Mete are waiting for adequate representation in the Cabinet.
At national level, the BJP has gone for reshuffle with respect to appointing state in-charges and has appointed Chhattisgarh MP Saroj Pande as Maharashtra in-charge. Pande would be in Mumbai on Monday, a day before Shah and Fadnavis, who is currently on a tour to the US, reaches the city.
Considering that there are several allegations against BJP ministers, Shah is likely to take review of the situation. For the past two days, sources said, BJP state leaders have been holding hectic parleys to prepare for Shah’s visit.
In all likelihood, party insiders and those within the government are indicating that Cabinet expansion could happen on July 11 or before. Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Devyani Farande, Jaikumar Rawal, Madan Yerawar are likely to get ministerial berths, while Swabhimani Party may get left out, without any share in the power at least for now.