Last Update: January 24, 2023, 23:37 IST
Shinde and Fadnavis held a separate meeting with Shah, said two BJP leaders who attended the Chinese field meeting (Image: Twitter/Amit Shah)
At present, the state has 20 cabinet ministers including Shinde. The maximum number of Maharashtra cabinet can be 43
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid discussions on the expansion of the state cabinet.
Shah was locked in his North Block office in Delhi with Shinde and Fadnavis after a meeting with all BJP leaders, representatives of the sugar cooperative sector, to discuss issues related to the sector.
“Shinde and Fadnavis had a separate meeting with Shah,” said two BJP leaders who attended the Chinese sector meeting.
After the meeting, Shinde told reporters that the expansion of the state cabinet would take place before the budget session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
At present, the state has 20 cabinet ministers including Shinde. The maximum strength of the Maharashtra cabinet can be 43.
asked about petitions before Election Shiv Sena’s rival factions commission for allotment of the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ election symbol, Shinde said he was confident that his group would be recognized as the real Shiv Sena.
“The Election Commission will decide the issue on merits. Majority is important in a democracy. So, we expect a decision on merits,” Shinde said.
“Now, by merit, we are in power, we are in government, we have majority. We have established the rule of law. So, everyone knows what decision will be taken according to the law and on merit.” Shinde said.
Earlier in Mumbai, Fadnavis said there was no legal or constitutional hurdle in expanding the state cabinet and he would try to do it before the upcoming budget session of the assembly.
State Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar had earlier said that the budget session would begin on February 27.
Shinde became chief minister on June 30 last year with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party after he rebelled against the Shiv Sena leadership and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government fell.
The rebellion also led to a split in the Shiv Sena, with one faction led by Thackeray and the other by Shinde.
“The state cabinet will be expanded soon. We initially started with just two (Shinde and Fadnavis), then added 18 members to our cabinet portfolio. “We will add more,” CM Shinde said at a program organized by regional news channel ABP Majha.
Shinde said that people want a leader who works for them and solves their issues.
In response to a question in the program, Fadnavis said, ‘There is no legal or constitutional obstacle in the expansion of the existing cabinet. We will try to do it before the upcoming state budget session.”
The BJP leader noted that the limited number of cabinet ministers with multiple portfolios puts pressure on time management during sessions of the state legislature, which includes the assembly and the council.
“The state government has already been formed, but some detail is pending. This government is working legally and constitutionally,” Fadnavis said.
The Supreme Court recently said it would begin hearing on February 14 a batch of petitions related to the Maharashtra political crisis arising out of the Shiv Sena split, including one seeking disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs from the Shinde camp.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)