BJP hasn’t informed Shiv Sena about Cabinet reshuffle, says Uddhav Thackeray
The Shiv Sena chief said his party is not power-hungryUpdated: Sep 03, 2017 00:20 IST
Ahead of the planned Union cabinet reshuffle, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said he had neither asked the Centre about the proposed cabinet expansion, nor had he received any information.
Speaking to Shiv Sena corporators and party functionaries on Saturday morning, Thackeray said his party was not power-hungry. The Shiv Sena chief was at a meeting held to discuss the setting up of health check-up camps, following the August 29 floods.
“I heard about the cabinet expansion from the media. Today, everybody’s attention is focussed on it, but the Shiv Sena’s attention is on the health of Mumbai’s citizens,” said Thackeray.
So far, there has been no word on the Shiv Sena getting a share in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle, though there is a possibility that the Narendra Modi-led government may offer the party one additional portfolio, which many see as long due, said sources.
The Shiv Sena has indicated that it would like one more member in the Union cabinet, along with heavy industries minister Anant Geete, who was inducted into the cabinet when Modi formed his government in May 2014. Even then, the party was unhappy over this“less significant” ministry, saying the Telugu Desam Party — which has less members in Parliament — was given the civil aviation ministry. However, Modi and the BJP ignored the Shiv Sena’s demand.
Political analysts said the BJP currently has no political compulsion to please the Shiv Sena. They added that Prime Minister Modi had not pandered to the party, even when keeping it happy was critical.
The Shiv Sena, which has 18 members in the Lok Sabha, was expecting additional cabinet portfolios in the first cabinet expansion in November 2014. Modi had inducted 21 new ministers as the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government was seeking stability. However, after much drama, the Shiv Sena did not get a piece of the pie. It then boycotted the oath-taking ceremony. Party leadership wanted a cabinet berth, while Modi had reportedly offered them a junior minister’s post. Acting on Thackeray’s orders, legislator Subhash Desai had left for Delhi to attend the ceremony. However,he turned back at the Delhi airport itself. Now, the Shiv Sena is likely to keep an eye on what Modi offers allies such as the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (U).
Bitter over getting a raw deal while participating in the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena keeps criticising both governments’ policies, sometimes even more harshly than the Opposition.