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Shiv Sena wants deputy speaker post as second largest party in NDA

Arvind Sawant, MP from Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat, is the lone Sena minister in the Modi government.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2019 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Uddhav Thackeray,Shiv Sena,NDA-Shiv sena alliance
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshri during a press conference after BJP's Victory in Lok Sabha election, Kalanagar, Bandra East in Mumbai.(Photo by Aalok Soni/Hindustan Times)

The Shiv Sena, which has a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, said on Thursday it has sought the post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

But later party chief Uddhav Thackeray indicated that he was satisfied with the heavy industry portfolio given to his party, which is the second-largest partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) .

On a visit to Kolhapur along with his 18 Lok Sabha MPs, Thackeray said the Sena’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not for two or three positions in the cabinet but on the issue of Hindutva. Arvind Sawant, MP from Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat, is the lone Sena minister in the Modi government.

The clarification came following reports that the Sena was unhappy at being given just one portfolio of “lesser significance” and that its Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut, had said the party had the right to the post of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker. “This (Deputy Speaker’s post) is not our demand. It’s our right,” Raut had said.

Thackeray, however, watered down the issue after visiting the Mahalaxmi temple along with the new MPs. “To express a desire for something does not mean we are unhappy. The alliance is for various things that both parties stand for,” he said. The Sena chief said the two parties – relations between them were strained in the run-up to the general elections -- had already worked out a seat-sharing formula for the assembly elections. “We have already decided,” he said.

He also announced his plans to visit Ayodhya with his new MPs on June 16, before the start of the Parliament session. This will be his second trip in six months. Last November, he had visited Ayodhya and demanded that a Ram temple be built at the disputed site before the Lok Sabha elections.

First Published: Jun 06, 2019 23:44 IST