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Maharashtra cabinet to be expanded soon: CM
December 24, 2007 19:59 IST
Faced with in-house demand for change of leadership, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday said he will expand his cabinet soon.
Deshmukh, however, declined to reveal anything more on the expansion plan.
The announcement assumes significance as it follows Revenue Minister Narayan Rane's outburst against Deshmukh and the meeting between Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar [Images] and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray apparently signalling political realignment.
The chief minister was talking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority in Mumbai.
Asked whether Rane had talked to him after criticising the state government's performance in Delhi on Friday, Deshmukh said, "He is my cabinet colleauge. We meet and talk regularly."
On the Thackeray-Pawar meeting at Thackeray's residence on Sunday, which has given rise to a lot of speculation, Deshmukh said, "So what? They are friends. Even I and R R Patil had met Thackeray a few months earlier. The meeting should not be looked upon as political."
Deshmukh said he perceived no threat to the government.
"We (Congress and NCP) are together on the plank of secularism," Deshmukh said.