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|October 28, 1999||
NCP boycotts cabinet meeting in Maharashtra
The newly-formed Democratic Front government in Maharashtra today found itself in trouble when one of its main constituents -- the Nationalist Congress Party -- boycotted the cabinet meeting to lodge its protest against the ''unacceptable'' size of the council of ministers.
With the expansion of the ministry yesterday, the number of ministers in the Vilasrao Deshmukh government has gone up to 61. The NCP has asked Deshmukh to cut the ministry to size and has suggested that three ministers, who were inducted without any consultation with the party, be dropped.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is also the state NCP president, told reporters today that his party was worried what impression the jumbo ministry would create among the people when the government was trying to restore the state's financial health.
NCP spokesperson Praful Patel confirmed that the party had conveyed the dissent over the size of the ministry to Deshmukh. ''We are waiting for a reply from him,'' he said.
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