9:28 pm - Sunday November 8, 2015

Shiv Sena Sulk On Portfolios Over, Anant Geete To Take Charge Today

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New Delhi – Anant Geete, the Shiv Sena’s lone minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, will take charge of his office in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises today, his office has confirmed. He had yesterday demanded a change of portfolio given to his party.

Mr Geete had said, “Uddhav Thackeray will take a call tomorrow (Wednesday) on whether he should take charge of the ministry. We want a change of portfolio.”

The change of thought by his party, the biggest ally of the BJP, reportedly happened after back channel talks, sources say. They add that the Sena could now get more Minister of State posts in the council of ministers.

The Sena-BJP led alliance in Maharashtra swept the crucial state winning 42 of the 48 seats, with Shiv Sena getting 18 and BJP picking up 23 seats. And though Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attended Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony after some tough talking on Pakistan, many in the Sena feel it has not got its due in the cabinet. In the previous NDA government, the Shiv Sena had three members in the council of ministers under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Mr Modi has rewarded five of the BJP’s 12 partners, which have found a representation in the Lok Sabha, with slots in his ministry. These include, besides the Shiv Sena, N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal, and Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.

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