New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) The cabinet expansion of Maharashtra’s newly-installed Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government is due soon and senior Congress leaders are among those looking for a berth in it.
The Congress, which has 44 MLAs, has been allotted 12 ministerial posts and with two ministers – Balasahab Thorat and Nitin Raut – being among the six sworn-in along with Thackeray on Thursday evening, there are still 10 available.
The Congress, unlike the Nationalist Congress Party whose MLAs are largely first-timers, has no dearth of senior leaders and both its former Chief Ministers, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, are also seen as being in the fray, sources said. While the latter is said to be the Congress’ choice for Assembly Speaker, the NCP is not very enthusiastic over his candidature for the key post.
The Congress is mulling the option to keep former Chief Ministers out of the cabinet but the final decision on this will be taken by interim President Sonia Gandhi. The party is examining the option to adjust its senior leaders in the the coalition government’s proposed coordination and advisory bodies.
Meanwhile, party MLAs are trying to connect to the right lobby to get a post in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, a senior leader said.
However, the Congress, according to the senior leader, is not in a hurry to finalise its list, but wants to fulfil regional aspiration and strike a caste balance.