After NCP, Shinde-led Sena upset over MoS post in Modi 3.0 government: 'expected Cabinet berth'

Shrirang Barne
Shrirang Barne

Pune | Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena on Monday voiced its disappointment over the allocation of cabinet berths in the newly-formed Narendra Modi-led government and highlighted what they perceive as "partiality" in the distribution of ministerial positions within the ruling coalition.

This comes a day after the NCP led by Ajit Pawar said the party would wait for a Cabinet berth rather than accepting a Minister of State position, offered to it by the BJP.

Shiv Sena Party Leader in Lok Sabha Shrikant Shinde, however, emphasised the party's unwavering support to the BJP-led NDA without any power bargaining.

Prataprao Jadhav of Shinde Sena was the sole representative in the new Modi government who took oath as a Minister of State with independent charge on Sunday. He has been allocated the AYUSH ministry and MOS Health.

Shrirang Barne, an MP of Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde, pointed out that although Shiv Sena won seven seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, other parties with fewer seats were granted Cabinet positions.

"We were expecting at least one Cabinet and one MOS berth for Shiv Sena which is the oldest ally of BJP," he said.

Notably, the Ajit Pawar-led NCP on Sunday refused to accept the Minister of State offer from BJP, demanding a Cabinet berth for Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel due to his experience.

Barne said the Shinde Sena had won seven seats of 15 it contested, whereas BJP bagged nine of 28.

He cited examples such as HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S) and Jitan Ram Manjhi, who were made Union cabinet ministers despite their parties winning fewer seats than Shiv Sena.

"We were expecting that Shiv Sena would get a Cabinet ministry, but even parties that won only one seat received Cabinet berths. For example, HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S), whose two MPs got elected, secured two berths, and Jitan Ram Manjhi, who won one seat from Bihar, was also given a Cabinet berth," Barne told reporters.

He also mentioned the deserving candidate of BJP's Udayanraje Bhosale for a Cabinet position.

Alleging partiality in the distribution of Cabinet berths, Barne claimed that after JD(U) and TDP, Shiv Sena is the third largest ally of the BJP.

Expressing discontent over the Cabinet berth allocation, he urged for fair treatment for Shiv Sena, especially considering the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra.

"Chirag Paswan, whose party won five seats, was also given a Cabinet berth. But Shiv Sena got only one MOS berth. I feel that there is partiality against Shiv Sena. Considering that we will face assembly elections together in the next three months, it is expected that Sena should get fair treatment," he added.

Shiv Sena's stance on supporting the government unconditionally was reiterated, with the party emphasising the need for Prime Minister Modi to continue the nation-building efforts.

The party's commitment to the NDA and its support for the government's leadership was highlighted amid the ongoing discussions about cabinet allocations.

Shrikant Shinde, meanwhile, stated, "We have already made it clear that we are supporting the government unconditionally. This nation has asked and needs the leadership of Prime Minister Modi ji. There's no bargaining or negotiation for power.

"We have extended unconditional support to an ideological coalition. We want Prime Minister Modi to carry forward the noble work of nation-building. The party, all MLAs and MPs are faithfully committed to the NDA," he added.

Eknath Shinde had split with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and joined the BJP-led government in June 2022 with a bulk of MLAs loyal to him. Subsequently, he took oath as the chief minister.

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