Congress eyeing lucrative portfolios but is affected by alliance constraints.
Mumbai: Talks between Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the Sahyadri Guest House over the exchange of portfolios seem to have failed, said a Congress source.
The central leadership is likely to intervene in the same, the sources added. Mr Thorat spoke to Mr Thackeray about the exchange of portfolios during the meeting Wednesday. The Congress leadership demanded the agriculture and rural development portfolios from the two allies but they are unwilling to accept this proposal.
To a query about portfolio distribution, Mr Thorat argued that there will be some stress due to the fact there are only a limited number of portfolios and departments available for each party. However, he added that the problem will be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, senior minister Jayant Patil dismissed reports of differences between the Congress, NCP and Sena over the allocation of portfolios.
The state NCP chief said that an announcement regarding portfolios is expected by Wednesday or Thursday.
In fact, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar sounded confident while claiming that the allocation of portfolio will be completed by Wednesday. Speaking to media after the meeting, Mr Pawar said, “The portfoios will be distributed by tomorrow (Jan. 2) evening. Everything is fine in the MVA government.”
Usually, ministerial portfolios are announced the same evening that the ministers take oath. However, the chief minister has not been able to allocate portfolios even two days after swearing in of the Cabinet because of the rift among the ruling parties.
In the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, the Sena has been allocated 15 ministries including (the chief minister's post) home, urban development, water resources, state road development, industry, higher and technical education, agriculture, general administration and transport.
While the NCP has been given 16 ministries including rural development, finance and planning, social justice, cooperative, irrigation, excise, food and civil supplies, housing, labour and minorities.
The Congress has been allocated 12 ministries including revenue, power, school education, medical education, PWD, tribal development, and women and child development.
The Congress inducted four senior leaders, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan. Sources said that Mr Chavan is likely to be made energy or PWD minister. However, he is said to be eyeing the revenue department.