A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray distributed portfolios among his council of ministers, voices of disappointment have begun to surface within the coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi, reports Hindustan Times.
While several Congress leaders are said to be unhappy for not being given the ministries they wanted, a few Shiv Sena MLAs have also reportedly been upset over getting excluded from the cabinet, according to sources within the ruling Alliance.
Although the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was the biggest gainer in the bargain with key portfolios such as Home and Finance, there had been hard lobbying from some legislatures until last minute.
As per the sources cited above, the Congress had sought some major ministries like agriculture, but ended up being given three relatively less-important portfolios like sports and youth welfare. Some party leaders have blamed it on the state leadership for not negotiating well, added the sources.
“Nitin Raut and Vijay Wadettiwar, who have been given energy and OBC [Other Backward Class] ministries were seeking more lucrative departments. Raut was expecting the public works department. However, nobody has openly expressed his displeasure,” said a Congress leader on condition of anonymity.
On the other hand, few Sena legislatures such as senior leader Sanjay Raut’s brother Sunil Raut, and Bhaskar Jadhav expressed their displeasure for not being made ministers. There were also reports of Minister of State Abdul Sattar being angry and resigning for getting junior portfolio.
However, Sattar on Sunday (5 January) met CM Thackeray and clarified that he had no discontent with the party.
A Sena leader who did not wish to be named said, “Sattar was told during the meeting on Sunday that infighting… and anti-party activities will not be tolerated. He was also told that the leaders at the local level are expected to work in the interest of the three-party alliance of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi.”
For some NCP leaders, Anil V Deshmukh’s name as the new Home Minister came as a surprise, while Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil, and Dilip Walse-Patil were seen as the main contenders for the highly-significant department.
Some senior leaders like Dilip Walse-Patil, Nawab Malik, and Chhagan Bhujbal were also lobbying to get some more profitable portfolios, but did not get as they had wished.
The portfolios were allocated six days after CM Thackeray expanded his cabinet on 30 December.
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