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Deshmukh rules out swapping of Cong, NCP ministries in Maharashtra
February 08, 2006 23:42 IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh Wednesday ruled out swapping of ministries by Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in the state in the wake of recent bypolls making the Congress the single largest party.
"The ratio of ministries has been decided by the Congress and NCP high commands. We have just implemented the formula given by them. What (Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader) R R Patil has said is correct," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Deshmukh stated this when asked whether the increasing visits of senior minister and and former Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane to Delhi indicated any change in the ratio of ministers of the two coalition partners.
In the power sharing arrangement arrived at after the last polls held some 18 months back, Congress retained the chief ministership despite lesser seats than NCP, which had emerged as the single largest party.
The Sharad Pawar-led party was however given few more ministries by Congress to pacify it.
The chief minister remained evasive as to when he would carry out expansion or reshuffle of the state cabinet maintaining that he would do so at at "opportune time".
Asked whether he would reshuffle ministers, Deshmukh merely said, "It could be an expansion, it could be a reshuffle or it could be both."
The chief minister said the coalition government in the state was running "smoothly" and he was not under any pressure from any quarters.