Even as speculations about a cabinet reshuffle in Maharashtra were rife especially after NCP chief Sharad Pawar, state Congress chief Nana Patole was spotted at ‘Varsha’ to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state NCP chief and Maharashtra water resources minister Jayant Patil denied any rejig terming the flurry of activity as just ‘routine government work’.
“All these were just rumours. Sharad Pawarji keeps meeting CM Thackeray and today too they discussed a range of issues. The meeting was just routine government work,” Patil told CNN-News18.
“There is no question of asking Deshmukh to resign. He is doing his work very well, Patil added.
Earlier, Patole said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Pawar and Thackeray will take a call on cabinet reshuffle. “You’ll get to know about it soon.”
NCP leader and Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik had also told reporters this is a routine review meeting. “Discussion is taking place on the current political situation. We will let you know whatever happens.”
The meeting comes a month after minister Sanjay Rathod, facing flak from the opposition BJP after being linked to a woman’s death, resigned from the state cabinet. Talking to reporters after meeting the chief minister at his official residence Varsha, Rathod said he had resigned to facilitate a free and fair probe. “Attempts were made to tarnish my image and destroy my reputation I had built after 30 years of social work. I was saying that let the probe happen before taking any decision. But the opposition threatened to disrupt the budget session,” Rathod said.
On December 30 last year, around 36 ministers — including those of Cabinet Minister and Minister of State ranks — were inducted. Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari will administer the oath to the new team around noon in the Maharashtra Legislature precinct.
The total strength of the ministry of Maharashtra cabinet is around 40, including the chief minister.