On December 31, 36 leaders of the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP were sworn in as Cabinet ministers.
Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is contemplating to create new departments like the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), commerce, metro and others. The portfolio allocation is likely to be completed by Monday.
Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik said the allocation of portfolios had been delayed because the state government was thinking about creating new departments.
“The reason for the delay is not due to anything but because we are considering creating new departments like separate department for CMO, Metro related works etc. So it is taking time. The portfolios will be decided and ministers will take charge of their respective ministries before Monday,” he added.
There were rumours that some Congress leaders had held up the portfolio distribution. “The delay is not because of any specific party in the government,” Mr Malik said, adding that the allocation of portfolios has not been delayed due to Congress being ‘over-ambitious’.
However, Sena leader Sanjay Raut has said that it was not good to keep delaying the portfolio allocation. “It is not such a big issue and hence it should not take much time. The issue should not be delayed further,” he said.
The MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray was formed on November 28. Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut of the Congress, Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena and Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP took oath along with Mr Thackeray on that day. On December 31, 36 leaders of the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP were sworn in as Cabinet ministers, taking the total strength of the Cabinet to the maximum of 43.
The Sena has already admitted there was a tussle between the leaders of the NCP and the Congress over key cabinet berths. In Sena’s editorial mouthpiece Saamana, the party said some MLAs could not be inducted because the “list of probables” was huge.
Reacting to delay in portfolio allocations to ministers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane said the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra will be “short-lived”.
Talking to reporters in Solapur, Mr Rane said portfolios had not been allocated to the ministers more than a month after the installation of the MVA government. “Ministers have taken bungalows and office cabins, but are still without portfolios. This government is not functioning,” he claimed.