Modi Govt 3.0:Trouble brewing amid National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies in Maharashtra? Reports have suggested that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Ajit Pawar faction are miffed with the PM Narendra Modi government on not being allotted a cabinet position. 

Ajit Pawar’s NCP, a constituent of the BJP-led Mahayuti alliance in Maharashtra, stood firm on their demand for a Cabinet berth, rejecting the offer of a Minister of State position.

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Shrirang Barne, an MP of the Shiv Sena under Eknath Shinde’s leadership, voiced dissatisfaction on Monday regarding the party’s exclusion from the Cabinet in the recently formed government led by Narendra Modi. Barne also accused the selection process of being biased.

“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,” Shrirang Barne said, according to a PTI report. 

Barne emphasized Shiv Sena‘s significant electoral gains in Maharashtra, securing seven out of 15 contested seats, while the BJP won nine out of 28. “Considering Shiv Sena’s longstanding alliance with the BJP,” he remarked, “we anticipated at least one Cabinet and one MOS berth,” Barne alleged favouritism in the allocation of Cabinet positions, asserting that after JD(U) and TDP, Shiv Sena stands as the BJP‘s third most substantial ally.

“Chirag Paswan, whose party won five seats, was also given a Cabinet berth. But Shiv Sena got only one MOS berth. I personally 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.

In the recent expansion of the Modi 3.0 coalition government, six MPs from Maharashtra were included. The BJP secured four berths, and its allies Shiv Sena and RPI (A) each received one. 

Notably, BJP MPs Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal retained their positions as cabinet ministers, while Raksha Khadse and first-time MP Murlidhar Mohol were sworn in as Ministers of State. Among the allies, RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale continued as an MoS with an independent charge, while Prataprao Jadhav joined as an MoS with an independent charge.

However, under Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s leadership, the NCP declined the MoS offer, insisting on a Cabinet berth for Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel, citing his extensive experience.

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Published: 10 Jun 2024, 06:29 PM IST

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