Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis are the only two members of the state cabinet as of now.
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, whose rebellion toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and replaced Uddhav Thackeray more than a month ago, has yet again said that his cabinet will have new members soon. Talks about the expansion of the state’s new cabinet have been brewing since Shinde and his deputy, Devendra Fadnavis, took oath. They are currently the only members of the state cabinet.
On Friday evening, Shinde was seen leaving Fadnavis’s residence in Mumbai. “The cabinet expansion will be done soon. The Prime Minister has organised a program in Delhi for which Devendra Fadnavis is going to Delhi tomorrow,” the Maharashtra chief minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Another member of the rebel Shiv Sena camp told news agency PTI that the much-awaited cabinet expansion will take place before August 15. The two leaders took oath on June 30 and became the only members of the new government amid an ongoing tussle over who will be the Sena chief – Thackeray, who currently holds the post, or Shinde, who swept majority in the state assembly and has the support of more than half of party leaders.
Former minister Uday Samant, who is a spokesperson of the Sena’s rebel faction led by Shinde, said that the guardian ministers will hoist the tricolour in their respective districts on Independence Day. Guardian ministers are appointed to look after development plans and related affairs of each district. It is an additional responsibility given to members of the council of ministers.
The opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on the other hand, has been slamming the Shinde government over the delay in cabinet expansion and asked if it was not getting the right ‘muhurat’ (auspicious occasion) to undertake the exercise.
Shinde and Thackeray camps are also locked in a bitter fight over party symbol even as Shinde said he did not “need an election symbol to get elected by people”.
The Election Commission has asked both factions to submit documents by Monday in support of their claims on Shiv Sena’s election symbol – bow and arrow – for laying claim on their political outfit.
NC claims Farooq Abdullah under house arrest, police denies
The National Conference claimed that former chief minister Farooq Abdullah had been put under house arrest, but the police later dismissed the claim. “Dr Farooq Abdullah has been placed under house arrest after returning from Nawai-Subha where he had earlier presided over a meeting and said ‘We will peacefully fight for our rights that were illegally, unconstitutionally and undemocratically snatched from us on August 5, 2019’,” the NC had tweeted on its official handle.
Three years of Article 370 abrogation: Leaders in Kashmir demand restoration of special status
As the abrogation of Article 370 and creation of two Union Territories from the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir completed three years on Friday, mainstream political leaders in Kashmir said they will continue to struggle for restoration of J&K’s special status. People’s Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti held protest demonstration for restoration of Article 370 outside the party office in Srinagar on the third year of abrogation of the Article 370 by Indian Parliament.
Comparative data of J&K police: Downward trend in Kashmir’s curve of violence since last 3 years
As abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir completed third year, J&K police on Friday released a data substantiating that there has been constant decrease in violence and killings of civilians post revocation of the Article 370 in the Valley. Three years ago, on August 5, Article 370 was revoked by the Parliament and the state was divided into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and all mainstream leaders were detained.
PSI recruitment scam: CBI conducts multiple raids in Jammu
Pursuant upon recommendations of the Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha, Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday conducted searches at various places across Jammu region as part of its probe into alleged irregularities in the selection process of police sub-inspectors. Following public outcry over large scale irregularities, L-G had cancelled the entire recruitment process and subsequently had asked the CBI to conduct a probe.
Himachal growers’ protest politically motivated: BJP leader
BJP leader and Himachal Pradesh Cooperative Bank president Khushi Ram Balnahata on Friday said protest was not always the right way, and the agitating farmers should put forth their demand on the right platform and not on the roads. A former MLA from Rohru, Balnahata, said the protest organised at Shimla was politically motivated and an attempt to mislead the public.