Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday said the functioning of the state government has not been affected in any way due to the delay in the expansion of the council of ministers and that more ministers will be inducted soon.
Mr Shinde made the remarks in response to questions about the delay in expansion of the Maharashtra council of ministers since the change of guard in the state on June 30.
Mr Shinde assumed office on June 30 after the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray in the face of a rebellion in the Shiv Sena ranks. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as deputy chief minister of the BJP-backed government headed by Shinde, who led the rebellion in the Shiv Sena ranks.
“The work of the government has not been affected in any way. The decision making process has not been affected. I and the deputy chief minister have been taking decisions and there is no impact on the working of the government,” Mr Shinde told reporters here.
Mr Shinde is in the national capital to attend a meeting of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav National Committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday evening and the NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting on Sunday.
“This visit to Delhi is not at all connected with the expansion of the council of ministers,” Mr Shinde said.
“The cabinet expansion will happen at the earliest” was the refrain of the chief minister to questions about the delay.
Earlier this week, Mr Fadnavis was in the national capital for meetings with the BJP leadership to discuss the political situation in the state even as the Supreme Court continued to hear a bunch of petitions in connection with the change of government in Maharashtra.
Mr Shinde, who was indisposed and advised rest by doctors, had stayed back in Mumbai.
Mr Shinde and Mr Fadnavis have been holding fort as a two-member cabinet, apparently awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court before adding new members to the council of ministers.
The Supreme Court is likely to hear the petitions related to Maharashtra government formation on Monday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)