Senior NCP leaders unhappy at being left out of Cabinet | india | Hindustan Times
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Senior NCP leaders unhappy at being left out of Cabinet

Several senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders are unhappy at being left out of the Cabinet. Among those who are reportedly unhappy at being left out of the Cabinet are party stalwarts Dilip Walse-Patil and Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, reports Yogesh Joshi.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2009 01:19 IST
Yogesh Joshi

Several senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders are unhappy at being left out of the Cabinet. Among those who are reportedly unhappy at being left out of the Cabinet are party stalwarts Dilip Walse-Patil and Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil.

The NCP now has a tough task ahead of placating both Walse-Patil, a five-time MLA from Ambegaon and Cabinet minister in the last Assembly, and Mohite-Patil, a political heavyweight from Solapur who lost the elections this time.

Though the party has already offered Walse-Patil the post of the Assembly Speaker, the leader seems reluctant to accept it. “Nobody has discussed any issue with me and I would also not like to talk about it now. I will disclose my position on Monday,” he said.

Known as a Sharad Pawar loyalist, Walse-Patil’s performance as Minister for Power in the last Assembly was average. However, after the 26/11 terror attacks, he was given the Finance portfolio, where he performed better.

Party sources said Pawar has also offered the post of state NCP president to Walse-Patil, but he has not accepted that till now. Pawar’s tough stand on Walse-Patil has surprised many in the party. Walse-Patil was not getting along well with Pawar’s nephew Ajit as well as state NCP president R.R. Patil. However, many in the party did not expect Pawar to drop him from the Cabinet.

“Considering the fact that he was a trusted man of Pawar, the decision came as a shock for us,” said a senior NCP minister.

If Walse-Patil refuses the Speaker’s post, the party’s options include Madhukar Pichad and Vikramsinh Patankar — both senior legislators.

Speaker in the previous Assembly, Babasaheb Kupekar, is also upset with the NCP leadership as he was keen on either a Cabinet berth or continuing as the Speaker. He has not been given any positive response yet.

Mohite-Patil, too, was denied a Cabinet berth since he lost the election from Pandharpur. Now the party is considering him for the post of state unit chief, which will fall vacant as incumbent R.R. Patil has been inducted in the Cabinet. But Mohite-Patil, too, is not keen for the position.

Two NCP MLAs from Satara, Shashikant Shinde and Shivendraraje Bhosale, have also expressed their dissatisfaction after being left out of the Cabinet.

Supporters of Shinde, who is also the party’s Satara district chief and an Ajit Pawar loyalist, blocked the Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway near Satara and called a strike at Jawali village.