Discontent in Congress grows as NCP obtains key portfolios

MUMBAI: One day after CM assigned portfolios to its ministers, there was discontent among members of Congress about the unfair treatment that had been transmitted to them. A section of the PCN ministers is also unhappy to be marginalized.

Congress has become the biggest loser. It seems that Congress has surrendered to the NCP. We never insist on key wallets, except for revenue. We accept the departments offered by the NCP and Shiv Sena, said an important Congress politician. A NCP minister said the portfolio allocation was decided after a series of meetings with Thackeray, president of the State Congress and president of NCP. The negotiations were transparent, the main leaders of the three parties were directly involved. There is no point in crying over spilled milk now, the minister said.

The Congress politician said that NCP has secured all key portfolios, including those for home, finance and planning, among others. According to the original proposal, the home was assigned to Sena. But during the negotiations, the NCP managed to secure it. It is the power of NCP leadership, he said.

In the departments assigned to Congress, only revenues and public works are important, he said, noting that the main leaders of Congress, including Thorat, the AICC secretary general, Mallikarjun Kharge, and former CM Ashok Chavan, did not get positions important for the Congress. The high command of Congress insisted on the departments associated with rural areas, he said.

When we were negotiating for departments, it was proposed that either the home or the post and CM be sent to Congress. Both proposals were rejected and our leaders were silent spectators, said the Congress politician.

However, within NCP too, things do not seem hory-dory. Former deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal has been given the insignificant department of food and civil supplies, while NCP in Mumbai has been granted minority welfare and skills development.