Uddhav Thackeray might have taken a leading seat of Maha Vikas Aghadi but he is already getting restless with that alliance. While Shiv Sena is in power but internal tiff is prevalent with regards to the cabinet expansion. There is major unrest within Shiv Sena with atleast 12 MLAs contemplating to quit the party over non inclusion of certain leaders in the cabinet. The legislators expressed displeasure over NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s imprint on the cabinet expansion. Many leaders are miffed about allocation of several important departments being allotted to NCP. Bhaskar Jadhav who had recently joined Shiv Sena from Chiplun after quitting NCP had blamed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for his failure to fufill his promise. Another former minister Tanaji Sawant too is not pleased for his non-inclusion in the cabinet.
Uddhav Thackeray expanded his month-old ministry by inducting 36 ministers that includes 13 ministers from NCP and Shiv-Sena and 10 from Congress. Shiv Sena has used its quota to make way for three independent candidates, which seems to have not gone down well with the members of the party who feel that the “Original Shiv Sainiks” have been ignored. Independents like Bachchu Kadu, Shankar Rao Gadakh and Rajendra Yadravkar had to be given ministerial berths under the Shiv Sena quota and that is why some old stalwarts of the party could not be accommodated.
This is probably the reason why Kolhapur MLA Prakash Abitkar could not be included in this Cabinet. The remarks come at that time when it has been said that Sanjay Raut, who has been termed as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is not happy with the cabinet expansion and his brother Sunil Raut being denied the berth. His absence from the cabinet expansion ceremony too had invited a lot of questions. What added fuel to these speculations was his obscure Facebook status, which read as, “Hamesha aise vyakti ko sambhal ke rakhiye, jisne aapko ye teen bhent di ho – saath, samay aur samarpan… (Translation: Always take care of the person who is always there for you, has given you his time and dedication)”.
While speaking to the media later, Sanjay Raut dismissed all the conjecture, as he shared, “I am not disheartened with the cabinet expansion. My brother had never asked for a ministerial berth, these are rumours being spread about us. We look forward to contributing to the party and do not aspire for any position. No matter what, we will always be loyal to the Thackerays”.
But a very senior and veteran Shiv Sena leader spoke to Afternoon voice on the condition of anonymity that the Sena workers are not happy, many of them might switch to other parties, meanwhile he stated that the Sena supremo is also restless because this is first time he is taking orders and working. He is in no habit of taking so much of domination.