Maharashtra Deputy Prime Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in Delhi to consult with the BJP leadership on the final list for the state cabinet, which urgently needs to be decided by the assembly session, which is due to start later this month. The cabinet expansion has been pending since June 30, when Prime Minister Eknath Shinde and Mr Fadnavis took their oaths. If approved by the BJP’s central leaders, the cabinet expansion could take place on Friday, sources said.
Mr. Shinde, who is not doing well, decides not to travel. Sources said the prime minister was suffering from overexertion and had been advised by his doctors to rest. Mr Shinde has canceled all his programs following doctors’ advice, sources said.
Mr Shinde and Mr Fadnavis last visited Delhi on July 27 with a draft cabinet list. But no decision could be made as there were too many contenders for the maximum 43 cabinet seats, including the prime minister.
Shiv Sena leaders who supported Mr Shinde during his two-week rebellion and helped overthrow Uddhav Thackeray’s government await a reward. So does the BJP for her role behind the screen.
According to sources, the battle for key portfolios extends all the way up.
As Chief Minister, Mr Shinde has his eyes on the plum portfolios. Mr Fadnavis – a former prime minister who was persuaded by BJP chief strategist Amit Shah and party leader JP Nadda to take on the role of Mr Shinde’s deputy – is unwilling to back down on the issue, sources say.
Maharashtra has had a two-man cabinet since Mr Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP took the oath on June 30. The BJP and the Sena faction led by Mr Shinde could not agree on power-sharing in the cabinet, sources said.