CM Shinde takes a two-day break for portfolio management
Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday left for his native Satara district where he will take a two-day break from the hectic politicking over cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation. He has told his faction to think over portfolio-related discussions in the larger interest of the Maha Yuti and get back to him when he returns. “Shinde has discussed with MLAs that they cannot demand all key portfolios, given that they share power with the BJP and will hence need to share key portfolios as well. He has given them two days to think over it, and said he will formally announce the portfolios when he returns from his two-day break,” a person familiar with the issue told First India.
The portfolio announcement was delayed due to disagreements over three portfolios that the Shinde camp wants, this person said. Abdul Sattar, who is likely to get Minority Affairs, also wants Rural Development, while Sanjay Rathod wants Social Welfare. The Shinde camp also wants the Agriculture ministry. Dada Bhuse from the Shinde camp was the Agriculture minister in the previous MVA dispensation. Pressure has been building on the ShindeFadnavis duo after massive delays in the cabinet expansion. Nearly 40 days after they were sworn in as CM and Dy CM, they inducted 18 more ministers in the cabinet, but are yet to formally announce portfolios. Those familiar with the issue said 22 more cabinet ministers are likely to be included in Phase 2 of the expansion, either during the Ganesh Chaurthi festival from August 31 to Sept 09 or after the Pitru Paksh, a 15-day period considered inauspicious. More significantly, Shinde faction may get a share of 12 or more cabinet berths in Phase 2 expansion.
Meanwhile, Shinde arrived in his native village of Dare in Satara district and was scheduled to visit the Padmavati Devi temple in Tapola village to pay respects and accept the felicitation planned by the villagers. He is slated to spend the night in Dare and on Friday perform puja at the Dare village deity Janani Devi temple. His sudden plan to visit his native village threw the local district administration into a tizzy. The region received heavy rainfall for the last two days and the weather conditions led to the collapse of some electricity poles, snapping both electricity and network connectivity in over 100 villages. BSNL and Mahavitaran, the state power utility, officials were working overtime to restore connectivity.