A chunk of the key departments in Maharashtra look likely to go to the party led by Sharad Pawar, who had taken the initiative to bring the Congress on board for the "Maha Vikas Aghadi" alliance, sources told NDTV. The list could include finance, home, irrigation and housing development. Mr Pawar and 35 others -- including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray -- took oath on Monday in the first expansion of the cabinet.
Ajit Pawar -- the Nationalist Congress Party rebel who was rewarded with the Deputy Chief Minister's post after return -- is likely to get the coveted finance ministry, sources told NDTV.
Discussions are on over the other prime portfolio - home, for which NCP's Nawab Malik is a contender.
The key Irrigation department may go to Jayant Patil, and Jitendra Awhad may get housing development, sources said. Both leaders are from the NCP.
Congress's former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan could get Public Works Department, and Balasaheb Thorat -- the revenue department. Ten of the 36 MLAs who took oath on Monday belonged to the Congress.
On November 28, Uddhav Thackeray had taken oath along with six others. The list included Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut of Congress, Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena and Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP.
Ajit Pawar -- who broke ranks from his party in November to ally with the BJP and take oath with Devendra Fadnavis in an early morning surprise ceremony -- returned after failing to muster the numbers. Most of the party MLAs he counted on to accompany him, opted to stay with his uncle Sharad Pawar.
Three days later, hours before a Supreme Court-ordered floor test, he returned to the party fold, ending the BJP's dramatic 80-hour bid to seize power.
Sharad Pawar, though, blamed the matter on the Congress, saying his nephew's "extreme decision" was driven by Congress demands for extra portfolios. "But he realized this was not a correct decision and that's why he came back early morning next day only. He saw me and withdrew from all this," Mr Pawar said.