Denied renomination as an MLC by his party Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Public Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant resigned on Monday.
Sawant’s term as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) had ended in July last year, but he continued as minister hoping that he would be renominated by the party.
However, Sena leadership denied Sawant another term, after several workers of the party accused him of inefficiency, sources said.
Sawant resigned on the last day of his tenure as a minister. The charge of Health ministry has been handed over to senior Sena leader Eknath Shinde.
As per rules, one can continue as a minister without being a member of either house of the state legislature only for a period of six month.
Before completion of six months, one has to become a member of either the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, or has to resign.
“There were several internal meetings in the last four years when Shiv Sena party workers from across the state expressed their disappointment with Sawant not being receptive to their demands. The disappointment was growing and finally the party decided to nominate someone else who could be more useful for the party,” said a close aide of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
When asked about prospects of the Sena assigning a full-fledged responsibility of the Health portfolio to any of its leaders, he said, “We do not have enough time for appointing someone as a Public Health Minister. There is less scope of taking policy decisions, as the code of conduct for Lok Sabha polls and later the state assembly elections will kick in”.
Sawant told a regional news channel that he was not “unhappy”, but is looking forward for a new responsibility from the party leadership.