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Cabinet Expansion Soon, Says Dy CM; Shinde Says PM, Shah Assured Support for State’s Growth

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state cabinet expansion will be done soon. Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport on Tuesday, Fadnavis expressed his determination towards the development of the state’s Vidarbha region. “The cabinet expansion will be done soon,” Fadnavis said.

fter winning the trust vote in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena on Monday night issued a notice to 14 legislators from the Uddhav Thackeray camp for violating a whip issued by Shiv Sena chief whip and Shinde loyalist Bharat Gogawale. The notice, however, excluded the name of Aaditya Thackeray, son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, out of respect.

The whip issued by Gogawale had asked all the MLAs of Shiv Sena to vote for Eknath Shinde in the trust vote. Gogawale was recognised as the chief whip of Shiv Sena by Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narvekar on Sunday, a day before the floor test. It is true that we have issued a notice for the violation of the whip to Shiv Sena MLAs who did not vote for CM Shinde.

However, we have omitted the name of Aaditya from it out of respect, Gogawale told PTI. He said all Shiv Sena MLAs, including those in the Uddhav Thackeray camp, had worked together for a long time with Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray. “We respect them. But they should have addressed our concerns,” he added.

The Shiv Sena had 55 MLAs before the rebellion in the 288-member Assembly, whose current strength is 287 due to the death of a Sena legislator. In the trust vote, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence while 99 voted against it.

Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray gathered the Shiv Sena MLAs at the party’s office in Mumbai on Monday evening and dared Eknath Shinde-led new government to mid-term elections. This came hours after the Team Shinde-BJP coalition proved its majority comfortably as some more Shiv Sena MLAs crossed over to the new government.

“This is BJP’s ploy to end the Shiv Sena; I dare them to hold mid-term polls in the state. Instead of playing all these games, we will go to the court of people,” Thackeray said in a statement. “If we are wrong, people of the state will send us home; and if you (BJP and Shinde group) are wrong, people will send you home,” he added.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday told his party to be ready for mid-term polls, predicting that the new government won’t last until 2024, when the next assembly elections are due.


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