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Jostling for cabinet berths in Mumbai ahead of swearing-in

Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) With legislators from the Congress and ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) jostling for cabinet berths since morning Thursday, Maharashtra’s chief minister designate Prithviraj Chavan got a taste of realpolitik even before the swearing-in ceremony.

The technocrat-turned-politician with little experience of state politics will be sworn in Thursday afternoon. While Chavan may be the only Congress member being sworn in, indications are that around 10 NCP ministers will also take the oath of office along with deputy chief minister-designate Ajit Pawar, sources said.

Hordes of hopeful legislators from both the Congress and the NCP crowded outside their respective party offices at Nariman Point since early THursday morning to make a bid for a ministerial berth.

From the NCP, according to present indications, senior leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal, R.R. Patil, Sunil Tatkare, Hassan Mushrif, Laxman Dhoble will be sworn-in along with Ajit Pawar.

The oath of office and secrecy will be administered to the new government by Governor K. Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan at 4.30 p.m. THursday.

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