Discontent among MVA allies delays allocation of portfolios?

Uddhav Thackeray

Uddhav Thackeray  


The wait for allocation of ministries in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is getting longer, underlining eluding consensus on key portfolios among the ruling Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, according to sources. Though the allies have officially denied any discontent, sources said the post of deputy chief minister and the Congress’ demand for certain portfolios have emerged as the sticking points.

A senior Congress leader on Wednesday said the Sena is likely to keep home and urban development portfolios while the NCP, the second largest bloc in the 288-member Assembly, might get irrigation, housing, and finance.

According to him, the Congress, which has the lowest 44 MLAs among the three ruling constituents, might have to be content with revenue, energy, education, and PWD departments.

As per norms, the Maharashtra government can accommodate maximum 43 ministers. The three parties, which came together to form a coalition government in unusual political circumstances in November, have held a series of meetings for ironing out differences over allocation of portfolios.

As per reports, NCP stalwart Ajit Pawar is in reckoning for the post of deputy chief minister. Ajit, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, had broken ranks with his party and joined hands with the BJP on November 23 to form a government under Devendra Fadnavis, which lasted just 80 hours. Ajit had recently said that party workers wanted him to be the deputy CM.

Alongside CM Thackeray, Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Sena, Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP, and Nitin Raut and Balasaheb Thorat of the Congress had taken oath as ministers on November 28. The cabinet expansion will take place after conclusion of the winter session of the State legislature on December 21.

Meanwhile, another senior Congress leader said the party is miffed over not getting key portfolios. “We should get either housing or industries department. The portfolio allocation is not yet approved by the Congress high command,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 9:59:30 PM |

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