While the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Maharashtra government is set to complete seven months in office, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) questioned the importance being given to its ally Shiv Sena.
The NCP claimed that six of the 18 Cabinet ministers had not presented even a single proposal in the 21 times the Cabinet met between October 31 and May 20. Four of these six ministers -- Subhash Desai, Ramdas Kadam, Eknath Shinde, Diwakar Raote, Vishnu Savara and Girish Mahajan – are from the Sena.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the proposals by Sena ministers were not making it to the Cabinet owing to a tussle between the two parties. “According to the rule, every proposal has to be approved by the CM, before sending it to the Cabinet. So either the Sena ministers are not keen on performing or the CM isn’t letting them perform” he said.
The attack is seen as an attempt by the party to exploit the strain in the Sena-BJP relationship. The NCP has been eager to partner the BJP in the state and had offered unconditional support for government formation within hours of the results being declared.
Malik said of the 37 government departments, 17 departments have not sent a single proposal to the Cabinet. “Not all of the 65 decisions taken by the Cabinet are directed towards public welfare,” he said, referring to the amendments to labour laws the Cabinet approved on Wednesday.
The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Factories Act, 1948, and decided to exclude 14,300 small-scale industrial units from the provisions of the act. Slamming the decision, Malik said it would only lead to exploitation of workers. “The earlier legal provision ensured the workers got timely benefits and medical help. The amendments won’t be of any help to the workers,” said Malik, who was the labour minister during the Congress-NCP government.