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Discontent Among BJP's Allies in Maharashtra Over Cabinet Berths Allocation

Ajit Pawar has reportedly declined a junior minister's post but advocated for an expansion of the state cabinet to accommodate more legislators as ministers

Discontent Among BJP's Allies in Maharashtra Over Cabinet Berths Allocation
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In the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent formation of a 71-member ministerial council for his third term, discord has emerged among the BJP's allies in Maharashtra. The allocation of cabinet berths has raised eyebrows, particularly among the Shiv Sena and NCP (AP), as they feel marginalized in the distribution of ministerial positions despite their contributions to the BJP-led NDA's Lok Sabha seats victory in the state.

Shiv Sena Expresses Dissatisfaction

Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne voiced discontent over what he perceives as unequal treatment in the allocation of cabinet berths. Despite the Shiv Sena's significant role as a long-standing ally of the BJP, only one minister-of-state position was offered to the party, prompting Barne to highlight disparities in comparison to other smaller NDA allies. Barne emphasized the need for fair representation, especially with impending assembly polls looming, underscoring the party's expectations from the alliance.

NCP Seeks Expansion of State Cabinet

Meanwhile, the NCP, led by Ajit Pawar, has reportedly declined a junior minister's post but advocated for an expansion of the state cabinet to accommodate more legislators as ministers. This move indicates the party's dissatisfaction with its share of ministerial positions and its desire for increased representation in the government. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel's rejection of a lower ministerial post further underscores the underlying tensions within the coalition.

Criticism of BJP's Seat-Sharing Policy

In addition to Shiv Sena and NCP's discontent, NCP (AP) MLA Anna Bansode criticized what she perceives as injustices faced by the BJP's allies in Maharashtra. Bansode called for a fair distribution of seats in the upcoming state assembly elections, echoing sentiments shared by NCP ministers Anil Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal. The demand for a more equitable arrangement in seat-sharing between the BJP and its allies reflects growing frustration within the coalition.

Reassurance Amid Discontent

Despite the reported discontent among allies, Deputy CM Fadnavis reiterated the predetermined criteria for ministerial posts in a coalition government. Fadnavis suggested that considerations for cabinet berths could be revisited in the future, indicating a willingness to address the concerns raised by the allies. However, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut's criticism of the BJP's treatment of the Shiv Sena underscores the existing tensions within the coalition. As the political landscape in Maharashtra remains tumultuous, the discord among BJP's allies over cabinet berths allocation highlights the challenges faced by the ruling coalition in maintaining unity and harmony within its ranks.

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