The Mumbai chief of the Nationalist Congress party, Nawab Malik, on Saturday told ANI that the allocation of ministerial portfolios in Maharashtra would be completed by Monday. Malik said the allocation had been delayed because the Uddhav Thackeray 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,” Malik said. “Portfolios will be allocated by Monday.”
On December 31, 36 leaders of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party were sworn in as Cabinet ministers, taking the total strength of the Cabinet to the maximum of 43. Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, the chief minister’s son Aaditya Thackeray, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit Deshmukh were among the well-known public figures who took oath.
There were rumours that some Congress leaders had held up the portfolio distribution. However, Malik denied these rumours. “The delay is not because of any specific party in the government,” he added.
On Thursday, the Shiv Sena had admitted there was a tussle between the Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress, and some of its leaders over key Cabinet berths. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said some MLAs could not be inducted because the “list of probables” was huge.