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Jun 11, 2013 at 11:51am IST

Maharashtra: With an eye on LS polls, NCP likely to reshuffle its ministers today

Mumbai: The reshuffle of NCP ministers in the Maharashtra government is expected to take place on Tuesday. The reshuffle comes after NCP President Sharad Pawar asked 20 ministers to hand in their resignations. Pawar is trying to change the face of the party ahead of the 2014 elections.

Party sources said resignations of the ministers, which are being received by Union Agriculture Minister and NCP President Sharad Pawar, are likely to be forwarded to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the evening, who will then forward them to the Governor.

Among the five top ministers to be dropped is Transport Minister Gulabrao Devkar. He was arrested in 2012 in the Jalgaon housing scam and later released on bail. Also being dropped is State Urban Development Minister Bhaskar Jadhav. He caused much embarassment to the NCP by hosting a lavish wedding in the midst of the drought and was ticked off by Sharad Pawar.

Some of the new ministers are also expected to take oath on Tuesday itself. State unit president Madhukar Pichad is reportedly set to be one of the new faces of the party.

The party has indicated that new faces will be inducted. Senior NCP leader and Union Minister Praful Patel told reporters on Saturday that the state unit president Madhukar Pichad would be inducted as minister and another person would replace him in his organisational post.

Dilip Sopal, an independent legislator and former NCP leader will also take oath of office and secrecy. He has earlier served as minister of State for Law and Judiciary.

The three new faces to be inducted into the cabinet are Sanjay Savkhare, Uday Samant and Shashikant Shinde.

Pichad (who was tribal minister in Vilasrao Deshmukh government), Shinde and Sopal will be cabinet ministers while Savkhare and Samant will be Ministers of State.

The new ministers come in place of Ramraje Nimbalkar (Water Resources-Krishna Valley development), Babanrao Pachpute (Tribal Development), Laxman Dhobale (Water Supply) and Minister of State for Urban development Bhaskar Jadhav and Minister of State for Transport Gulabrao Devkar.

Pichad is from Akole in Ahmednagar, Shinde from Kotegaon in Satara, Sopal from Barshi in Solapur, Uday Samant from Ratnagiri and Savkhare is from Jalgaon district.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at Raj Bhawan.

With Additional Inputs From PTI