CM Shinde takes a two-day break from portfolio management

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Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde left for his home district of Satara on Thursday where he will take a two-day break after political turmoil over cabinet expansion and the allocation of portfolios. He told his faction to consider the portfolio-related discussions in the Maha Yuti’s broader interests and to respond to him upon his return. “Shinde discussed with MPs that they cannot demand all key portfolios as they share power with the BJP and therefore will have to share key portfolios as well. He gave them two days to think it over and said he would officially announce the portfolios when he returned from his two-day break,” a person familiar with the matter told First India.

The wallet announcement was delayed due to disagreements over three wallets the Shinde camp wanted, the person said. Abdul Sattar, who is likely to get minority business, also wants rural development, while Sanjay Rathod wants social welfare. The Shinde camp also wants the Ministry of Agriculture. Dada Bhuse of Shinde camp was Minister of Agriculture in the previous MVA dispensation. Pressure is mounting on the duo ShindeFadnavis after massive delays in expanding the firm. Almost 40 days after being sworn in as CM and Dy CM, they have inducted 18 other cabinet ministers, but have yet to officially announce the portfolios. Those familiar with the issue said another 22 cabinet ministers would likely be included in Phase 2 of the expansion, either during the Ganesh Chaurthi festival from August 31 to September 09 or after the Pitru Paksh, a 15-day period considered as inauspicious. More importantly, the Shinde faction can get a share of 12 or more cabinet slots in the Phase 2 expansion.

Meanwhile, Shinde arrived at his home village of Dare in Satara district and was to visit Padmavati Devi temple in Tapola village to pay homage and accept congratulations expected from the villagers. He is to spend the night in Dare and perform a puja at the Janani Devi temple of the Dare village deity on Friday. His sudden plan to visit his native village upset the local district administration. The region has received heavy rains over the past two days and weather conditions have led to some power poles collapsing, cutting off both power and grid connectivity in more than 100 villages. BSNL and Mahavitaran, the electricity utility, officials were working overtime to restore connectivity.


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