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Discontent in Sena rises as berths denied

Published : Jan 1, 2020, 1:55 am IST
Updated : Jan 1, 2020, 1:55 am IST

Even the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, skipped the ceremony.

Uddhav Thackeray
 Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai: The denial of ministerial berths to certain Shiv Sena leaders in Monday’s Cabinet expansion has triggered a considerable amount of discontent and resentment. Five-term Sena MP Bhavana Gawali on Tuesday told the media that she was unhappy over an MLA, Sanjay Rathod, getting a berth in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Cabinet.

The Sena picked Mr Rathod, who represents Digras in Yavatmal, spurring discontentment among leaders coming from the economically-backward region of Vidarbha. Ms Gawali, who represents Yavatmal-Washim seat in the Lok Sabha, said that she was expecting the induction of Sanjay Raimulkar and Sandeep Bajoria from western parts of Vidarbha.

“We had also given a written memorandum to Shiv Sena chief and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Despite pleading for this (their appointment), the portfolio has gone to someone else. As a result, we are really disappointed,” the parliamentarian said.

The Sena also did not include leaders such as Ramdas Kadam, Diwakar Raote, Ravindra Waikar, Deepak Kesarkar and Tanaji Sawant in the new council of ministers during the expansion on Monday. Even the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, skipped the ceremony.

An editorial in Saamana, the party mouthpiece, stated that the party had to accommodate three Independents— Bachchu Kadu, Shankarrao Gadakh and Rajendra Yadravkar — in the council of ministers, resulting in many Sainiks losing out on the opportunity to serve in the government.

The Sena mouthpiece also lashed out at the BJP for boycotting the swearing-in ceremony on Monday. “It is unfortunate the Leader of the Opposition decided to boycott the swearing-in ceremony. Even during the winter session, the Opposition created pandemonium and staged walkouts,” the editorial noted.

“Now after a month, the state has a full government of 43 ministers, and Mr Fadnavis should not try to cast a bad omen. He and his party should not try to oppose the government just for the sake of opposing it,” the editorial added.

Referring to the induction of first-term MLA Aaditya Thackeray in the Cabinet, the editorial said the junior Thackeray could execute his plans for crucial sectors like education, health, sports, tourism and environment.

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