Live updates: Ajit Pawar takes oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar will make a dramatic return as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra today, sources have said, adding that on Monday an expansion of the state cabinet that currently has only six members in addition to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Ajit Pawar’s likely return comes a little over a month after he broke ranks to ally with the BJP, was sworn-in as Devendra Fadnavis’s deputy in a surprise early-morning ceremony and then quit hours before a top Court-ordered for the floor test, consigning to the bin the BJP’s 80-hour-long bid to seize power.

Last week Ajit Pawar’s name was finalized and after discussions between the ShivSena’s Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. The Congress, the third member of the unlikely ruling alliance, was not present but kept in the loop.

Around 36 ministers – including Cabinet and Minister of State ranks – will be sworn-in. Sources also said 10 will be from the Congress, with the party’s former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan likely to get the public works department portfolio and nothing for Prithviraj Chavan, another former Congress CM.

Six ministers who have already been sworn-in are the ShivSena’s Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, the NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhaggan Bhujbal, and the Congress’s Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut. The total strength of the cabinet is 42, including the Chief Minister.

follow live updates here:

2.07 PM

ShivSena leader Aaditya Thackeray takes oath as minister

2.06 PM

Congress leader Amit Deshmukh takes oath as minister

1.33 PM

Congress leader Ashok Chavan and NCP leader Nawab Malik takes oath as minister in Maharashtra Government

1.04 PM

Ajit Pawar takes oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra

12.18 PM

Total 36 leaders to take oath as minister today

11.37 AM

Congress releases the list of Ministers in Maharashtra Government

11.37 AM

Aaditya Thackeray to take oath as state minister

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