Mumbai: The much-awaited expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde may take place after the July 18 presidential polls, the rebel camp of Shiv Sena MLAs indicated on Monday. Talking to reporters here, the rebel Shiv Sena MLA faction's spokesperson, Deepak Kesarkar, said, There is no difficulty in Cabinet expansion.
He was responding to a question on whether the Cabinet expansion was being delayed due to the on-going legal battle between the rebel camp and the Sena faction led by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Currently, Chief Minister Shinde, who heads the rebel camp, and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP - both of whom took oath on June 30 - are the only members of the Cabinet.
Kesarkar said there is an important meeting on July 13 in New Delhi related to the election of the next President and a representative from the rebel group will be attending it. On July 14, BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu will visit Mumbai to seek support.
Preparations for the presidential polls will take place on July 16 and 17 before voting on July 18. Electors for the top constitutional post consist of Members of Parliament and MLAs.So, the MLAs will be busy in the presidential polls… so who will have the time to prepare for taking oath. They are not in a hurry, he said.
Last week, Shinde and Fadnavis visited New Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda. Deliberations on Cabinet expansion in Maharashtra were believed to have taken place with the BJP's top brass during the visit.