Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister of the first ever BJP-led regime in Maharashtra, has not obliged the demand for an additional Cabinet berth from its ally Shiv Sena in the latest Cabinet expansion.
Raising the strength of the ministry to 41, no Cabinet berth was offered to the Sena by the Maharashtra Chief Minister. As many as 24 of the ministers are of Cabinet rank, while 17 are Ministers of State.
After inducting 10 new members into his council of ministers and elevating BJP's Ram Shinde from MoS (Home) to Cabinet rank, the changes made by Fadnavis has drawn the ire of Shiv Sena who had to settle with only two additional Ministers of State.
Governor C Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy at the ceremony held at Vidhan Bhawan today which saw six legislators sworn-in as Cabinet ministers. Two from the Sena took oath as Ministers of State.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray skipped the ceremony, showing his displeasure over Fadnavis' decision.
Among the Cabinet ministers, 18 are from the BJP, 5 from Shiv Sena and one from Rashtriya Samaj Party. Out of the 17 MoS, BJP has 9, Sena-7 and Swabhimani Party-1, according to a report by India Today.
Apart from Ram Shinde, Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Pandurang Fundkar, Jaykumar Rawal, and Subhash Deshmukh were inducted as Cabinet ministers. BJPs ally Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP) leader Mahadev Jankar too was inducted as a Cabinet minister.
BJP's Ravindra Chavan, Madan Yerawar, Senas Arjun Khotkar and Gulabrao Patil, and Swabhimani Party's Sadabhau Khot were inducted as MoS.
The majority of ministers are from the BJP with a total strength of 27. The next highest share is from Shiv Sena at 12 and two are from minor partners Rashtriya Samaj Party and Swabhimani Party.
The BJP alliance with Shiv Sena has been tense with the latter publicly criticizing BJP over a host of issues through its mouthpiece Saamna.