The BJP’s stand of not humouring ally Shiv Sena with plum portfolios in the Central Cabinet has added to the strain between the two parties.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Monday claimed that no one from the BJP had consulted him on expansion plans of the NDA government.
He also said that the Sena would not ‘stand at any one’s door’ to seek favours.
“The Shiv Sena is not helpless. We will not stand at anyone’s doors asking for favours,” Uddhav said, after reports of Tuesday’s proposed Cabinet expansion emerged.
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The Shiv Sena has one representative in the Union Cabinet, with Anant Geete handling the charge of Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
The Sena is keen on a meatier portfolio and has also been seeking additional representation in the cabinet.
“First, they (the BJP) were offering us Minister of State, then said we will get a Cabinet berth. We say whatever we get, we should get with respect. We will not beg for anything. There have been no discussions with Delhi on Cabinet expansion,” Uddhav said.
At the last Cabinet expansion in November 2014, a miffed Sena had decided to call back
its representative, Anil Desai, who had been camping in Delhi leading the Sena’s negotiations and was likely to be included as a Minister of State at the Centre.
That time, the Sena and the BJP had just faced off against each other in the Maharashtra
Assembly elections. There has been a growing sense of unease in the Shiv Sena over the treatment being meted out to the party by the BJP central leadership.
Even though the top bosses of the BJP have made public utterances of the Sena being an indispensable ally, the Sena leadership has been feeling that it is being taken for granted.