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Congress ministers in Maharashtra resign
June 30, 2004 10:56 IST
Last Updated: June 30, 2004 12:00 IST
All Congress ministers in Maharashtra resigned on Wednesday to enable Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to reduce the size of his cabinet as per a Constitutional amendment.
They submitted their resignation letters to Shinde at a meeting at his official residence in Mumbai, hours before a meeting of the cabinet, a senior Congress minister said.
Meanwhile, the ministers of Nationalist Congress Party, a major constituent of the ruling coalition, are likely to submit their resignation letters to Deputy Chief Minister and senior party leader Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil later in the day.
The size of the ministry will have to be pruned to 43 from the present 65 to meet the constitutional obligation of restricting it to 15 per cent of the total strength of the state legislature.
There are 27 ministers of cabinet rank and among them, 13 are from the Congress, 12 from NCP, one independent and one from the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh.
There are 38 ministers of state of which Congress and NCP have a share of 14 and 15 respectively, besides five independents and one each of Janata Dal (S), BBM, Republican Party of India (Gavai) and Gondwana Ganatantra Party (GGP).
Shinde had earlier said the axe would not fall on smaller parties and independents.
The names of those who are dropped from the cabinet will be announced on July 6, a day ahead of the deadline, state NCP president and Home Minister R R Patil said.
Shinde is expected to consult the Congress high command, NCP president Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil in connection with the exercise.
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