Maha: Cabinet expansion delayed as no ‘green signal’ from Delhi, quips Pawar

Pawar said more than 35 days have passed since Shinde and Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister respectively, but the cabinet is not formed yet.

Pune: The Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra cannot expand the cabinet until they receive a “green signal” from Delhi which is simple mathematics, Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar said on Saturday.

He said more than 35 days have passed since Shinde and Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister respectively, but the cabinet is not formed yet.

“We have been constantly demanding that the CM expand the cabinet and appoint guardian ministers as issues about law and order, heavy rainfall, and farmers are piling up,” the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader told reporters in Pune.

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The former deputy CM said the administration will not be streamlined unless a functional council of ministers is in place.

Pawar said they will meet the state governor, the CM and the Deputy CM and ask them to expand the cabinet and convene the Assembly session of the state legislature.

“This is simple math. We should understand that unless a green signal is received from Delhi, they will not be able to expand the Maharashtra cabinet. Recently, I heard that the cabinet expansion will take place once elections of President and Vice President are over,” said Pawar.

It is said that the Chief Justice of India has expressed some opinion during the hearing of the matter (petitions filed by the factions of Shiv Sena led by Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray for and against the disqualification of MLAs), he said.

“Some people feel that once the Supreme Court gives a ruling certain things will follow. I feel that if they (CM and Deputy CM) give a list to the state governor stating they want to appoint some people as ministers, the governor can administer them the oath of office,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is in Delhi, said the functioning of the state government has not been affected in any way due to the delay in the expansion of the council of ministers and that ministers will be inducted soon.

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