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Maharashtra cabinet expansion: Ajit Pawar returns as Deputy CM, Aaditya Thackeray takes oath as minister

Besides Ajit Pawar and Aaditya Thackeray, Ashok Chavan, Dhananjay Munde and Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh were also sworn-in

December 30, 2019 / 02:13 PM IST

The Maharashtra Cabinet was expanded on December 30, with the induction of 25 Cabinet ministers and 10 Ministers of State.

Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister.

Aaditya, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son and first-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Mumbai’s Worli constituency, was also inducted into the Cabinet.

It was immediately unclear as to which portfolio Aaditya and Ajit Pawar were given.

The oath-taking ceremony was held in the Vidhan Bhavan premises in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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As many as 10 Congress MLAs were sworn-in. They were: former chief minister Ashok Chavan, KC Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Amit Deshmukh, Sunil Kadar, Yashomati Thakur, Varsha Gaikwad, Aslam Sheikh, Satej Patil and Vishwajit Kadam.

Along with Uddhav Thackeray, six others -- Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai; NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut -- were sworn in at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on November 28.

According to the power-sharing formula, the Shiv Sena is to hold the chief minister’s position for five years and get 15 ministerial berths. NCP was to have the Deputy Chief Minister’s position and 14 ministerial berths. The Congress was to get the Assembly Speaker’s position and 12 ministerial berths.

Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers. The size of the Council of Ministers cannot exceed 15 percent of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.

The Shiv Sena has 56 MLAs, the NCP-54 and the Congress-44 in the House.

In November, the Shiv Sena had joined hands with its rivals Congress and NCP after its pre-poll alliance with the BJP collapsed over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.

Amid the logjam over government formation in November, Ajit Pawar had joined hands with the BJP to form a government that lasted around 80 hours. He was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister then as well before returning to the NCP fold. Prior to that, he was the deputy CM in the Maha-Aghadi government between 2010 and 2014.
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