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Shiv Sena’s Geete agrees to take charge as heavy industries minister

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NEW DELHI: Differences between Shiv Sena and BJP over portfolio allocation blew over on Wednesday with Anant Geete deciding to take charge as heavy industries minister after party chief Uddhav Thackeray held “satisfactory” talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter.

Geete said he would assume charge at 11am. The decision came after Thackeray held “satisfactory talks” with the Prime Minister, he told PTI.

When asked whether the party was still upset with the portfolio allocation, Geete said, “We are not upset now”.

The party will look into the matter when the Cabinet is expanded later, he said.

BJP’s oldest ally Shiv Sena was unhappy over being given the heavy industries portfolio and had sought an immediate change.

Geete had taken oath as Union minister as the party representative but did not take charge of the ministry allocated to him.

Uddhav had also conveyed his unhappiness to BJP president Rajnath Singh.

Shiv Sena is the oldest ally of BJP and it has secured as many as 18 seats in the Lok Sabha, making it the second largest party in the NDA.

The Shiv Sena and BJP combine were in power in Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999 and are since in the opposition. The saffron alliance is the oldest.

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