The cabinet expansion in Maharashtra will happen tomorrow, sources have said. The new cabinet comes 40 days after the BJP and Shiv Sena formed a new government under Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Sources said the BJP MLAs who will take oath as ministers tomorrow are Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, R Vikhe Patil, Girish Mahajan and Suresh Khade. From Team Eknath Shinde's camp, the MLAs are Uday Samant, Gulabrao Patil and Sandipan Bhumare, sources said.
The expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet will take place "before you can even imagine", Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had told reporters in Delhi in response to questions on the induction of new ministers.
So far the Maharashtra cabinet has been functioning with two members since June 30.
Both Mr Fadnavis and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde were in Delhi over the weekend as Mr Shinde along with 22 other chief ministers attended a NITI Aayog meeting.
Mr Fadnavis announced that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been given the responsibility to coordinate efforts to better the BJP's performance in Baramati, the Pawar family stronghold in western Maharashtra, from where Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule is the MP.
Mr Fadnavis has said the BJP has embarked on a mission to improve its footprint in Maharashtra in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by identifying 16 parliamentary constituencies where opposition parties have had a consistent winning streak.
He said these constituencies included those held by Shiv Sena leaders who have now joined Team Shinde.
"Since Shiv Sena and BJP will contest the Lok Sabha elections as a coalition, the BJP will work to ensure the victory of the sitting Lok Sabha members from these constituencies," Mr Fadnavis said.