Thackeray Cabinet expansion likely on Dec 24, 36 ministers may take oath

Nagpur: The expansion of Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi Cabinet is likelt to thake place on Tuesday, December 24. Total 36 Ministers including eight Ministers of State could be included in the expanded Cabinet, sources informed.

The much awaited ministry expansion was being speculated after conclusion of Winter Session held in Nagpur. Accordingly, the Cabinet could be expanded on Tuesday, December 24. In the first such exercise, 13 ministers each of Shiv Sena and NCP would be sworn-in. Both the parties may have 10 Cabinet Ministers each and 3 Ministers of State. On the other hand, Congress may get total 10 ministers including 8 Cabinet and two Ministers of State, sources said. “Lobbying by MLAs of the three parties is in full swing to get berth in tomorrow’s cabinet expansion” sources added.

As part of lobbying, senior Congress leaders – Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan – dashed to Delhi and trying to meet party President Sonia Gandhi. Both the top leaders are craving for plum portfolios. Ashok Chavan is lobbying to grab PWD and Energy ministries, sources said.

Meanwhile, MPCC President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat on Sunday met party’s Maharashtra In-Charge Mallikarjun Kharge, other senior leaders K C Venugopal and Ahmed Patel and held discussions over Cabinet expansion of Thackeray Government.