Sena admits fighting among Maharashtra's allies for cabinet berths

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena admitted Thursday that there was a dispute between the main leaders of the three parties of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra over key positions in the cabinet, and said that some MLAs could not be included as ministers because the list of probabilities was huge.

He also had a dark vision of some people who destroyed the office of Congress in Pune to protest against the non-inclusion of the MLA Sangram Thopte party in the ministry.

Congress used to call Shiv Sena's protests as 'Rada culture' (vandalism), but what Thopte's supposed supporters did was exactly the same, he said.

This does not fit the culture of Congress, said an editorial in Sena spokesman 'Saamana'.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray extended his month-long ministry by incorporating 36 ministers.

The expansion of the cabinet was delayed, but it finally happened. There were some sparks of disappointment on the part of those who couldn't make the cut, but the list of odds was huge, Shiv Sena said.

He said the opposition (BJP) may be bubbling over such developments, but even the previous government of Devendra Fadnavis was no exception to such discontent during his Cabinet expansions.

The party led by Uddhav Thackeray also said he kept his word by inducing three independents, who supported Shiv Sena, unlike Congress and the PCN.

A strong and experienced cabinet is in power, it should be allowed to function, said the Seine.

In Shiv Sena, MLA Bhaskar Jadhav expressed shock at his exclusion from the ministry, the Marathi newspaper said no one was promised the position in the cabinet to anyone, including Jadhav, who joined the party led by Thackeray after leaving the NCP.

Jadhav said Thackeray promised to become cabinet minister. According to our information, no such promise was made. Thackeray should have asked him to join the Seine before the Assembly polls and be part of the government, he said.

Shiv Sena joined Congress and the PCN, his traditional adversaries, after his alliance with the BJP collapsed on the issue of sharing the position of chief minister after state Assembly polls in October last year.

Noting that there was a dispute over the distribution of the portfolio, Shiv Sena said that Congress leader and former Prime Minister Ashok Chavan, who was included in the state cabinet, needs a ministry as income.

But the ministry is currently with another Congress leader, Balasaheb Thorat, he said.

Another contender for Congress was three times MLA Praniti Shinde, whose supporter wrote a blood letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, claiming that Shinde and her father worked hard for the party and always remained loyal to the leadership.

Praniti Shinde, the MLA of Solapur, is the daughter of veteran congressman and former chief minister of Maharashtra and interior minister of the Union, Sushilkumar Shinde.

His father could become prime minister and interior minister of the Union for the Gandhi family and Congress, said the Seine.