Shiv Sena expects second cabinet berth in latest reshuffle of union cabinet
So far, senior BJP leaders have not had any official discussions with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on the subject.Updated: Sep 01, 2017 14:37 IST
With the union cabinet reshuffle around the corner, the Shiv Sena, which has one minister at the Centre, is expecting an additional cabinet berth that party leaders say has been due since a long time.
Sources from the party said that while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government does not seem completely opposed to the Sena’s demand, there have not been any formal discussions yet.
A senior Shiv Sena leader said, “The party should definitely get one more cabinet seat. The BJP is not opposed to it. But, a final decision can be hammered out only once there are official discussions with the Sena chief.”
So far senior BJP leaders have not had any official discussions with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on the subject, he added.
Party sources said that the Sena is likely to nominate either Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Anil Desai or Lok Sabha MP Anandrao Adsul.
At the moment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet has just one Sena minister, Anant Geete, in charge of the heavy industries and public sector enterprises portfolio. Geete has been in the cabinet since the formation of the Modi government in May 2014.
The Shiv Sena, which has 18 parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha, was expecting additional cabinet portfolios in the very first cabinet expansion in November 2014, when Modi inducted 21 new ministers. However, after much drama, the Sena, which did not get a piece of the pie, boycotted the oath-taking ceremony. The Sena leadership wanted a cabinet berth while PM Modi had reportedly offered a junior minister’s post. Sena’s Desai, who had left for Delhi for the ceremony, on Thackeray’s orders, returned to Mumbai from the Delhi airport itself. The Sena leaders have refused to give any public comments on the issue yet, even as some BJP ministers have resigned as part of the reshuffle.