Not demanded anything, says Sanjay Raut who skipped Thackeray’s cabinet expansion
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday dismissed reports he was unhappy with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for not including his brother Sunil into the Maharashtra cabinet as 36 legislators, including Aaditya Thackeray, were sworn-in as ministers.
One of the architects of the coalition of the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, Sanjay Raut was, however, conspicuous by his absence from the swearing-in ceremony.
Sunil Raut is the member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Vikhroli in Mumbai and was expecting to be made a minister in the Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government’s expansion.
Speaking to reporters, Sanjay Raut talked about his family’s loyalty to the party.
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“My family and I are always with the Shiv Sena. We have not demanded anything. We have contributed to the formation of the government in Maharashtra. My brother has never demanded ministership. These are rumours being spread by some people,” he said.
Sunil Raut, a two time MLA, has since gone incommunicado. His supporters have not been able to contact him yet. Despite attempts, Sunil Raut could not be reached for a comment on the issue.
Though Sanjay Raut has not expressed his unhappiness openly, he is expected to discuss it with Uddhav Thackeray soon.
Apart from Sunil Raut, several other aspiring MLAs are upset over being overlooked for ministerial berths.
Pratap Sarnaik, Tanaji Sawant, Sunil Prabhu, Ravindra Waikar and Bhaskar Jadhav along with senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Out of the 36 members, 26 were sworn-in as cabinet ministers and 10 took oath as junior ministers.
Uddhav Thackeray had taken oath as the chief minister on November 28 along with six other ministers, two each from three parties forming the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi.