Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday expanded his two-member ministry, 41 days after taking oath as the CM.
Eighteen legislators, including state BJP president Chandrakant Patil, were sworn in as cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai.
The list doesn't include a woman.
The strength of Maharashtra ministry has now gone up to 20, less than half the maximum allowed strength of 43.
Governor B S Koshyari administered the oath of office to the ministers. The event, scheduled to begin at 11 am was delayed by 15 minutes.
On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM.
Those who took oath as ministers on Tuesday include nine each from the Shinde group and the BJP.
The new BJP ministers are Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Chandrakant Patil, Vijaykumar Gavit, Girish Mahajan, Suresh Khade, Ravindra Chavan, Atul Save and Mangalprabhat Lodha.
From the Shinde group, Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse, Sanjay Rathod, Sandipan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar and Shambhuraj Desai were sworn in as ministers.
No minister of state was sworn in today. There will be another ministry expansion later, an aide of Shinde said.
While BJP has inducted Lodha, who hails from Mumbai, the Shinde group hasn't included any legislator from the financial capital, where municipal corporation elections are slated later this year.
The ceremony was held at the Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am, an aide of Shinde told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The CM has made seven visits to New Delhi in the last one month, and with every visit there was talk that the ministry expansion was round the corner.
Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar said Shinde had promised a ministerial berth to every MLA who joined him
“Now Shinde is unable to fulfil his promise, hence the delay in cabinet expansion. The chief minister should disclose reasons for the delay,” Pawar said.
(With PTI Inputs)