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Maharashtra politics: Smaller parties and independents upset over recent happenings

The government currently has 29 ministers - 10 each from Shiv Sena and BJP and nine from NCP while there are 14 vacancies
Last Updated : 13 July 2023, 11:43 IST

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Smaller parties and independent legislators supporting the Maharashtra government are upset over a chain of political developments and the delay in the ministerial expansion of the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar dispensation.

While those supporting the BJP have not yet spoken out but those who walked out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi when Shinde toppled the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government have expressed anguish over the recent happenings.

Omprakash Babarao Kadu, popularly known as Bachchu Kadu, who is heading the group of 10 MLAs supporting Shinde, have over the past week, spoken out.

Kadu, who is the founder of Prahar Janshakti Party, which has two MLAs, has also expressed concern after Ajit Pawar joined the government as Deputy Chief Minister with eight other Cabinet ministers.

During the June-2022 rebellion in the Shiv Sena, Kadu was among the first to reach Guwahati and organise the independents to support Shinde.

Kadu, a four-time MLA from Achalpur in Amravati district, was expected to meet Shinde on Thursday, however, the meeting has been postponed to July 17.

“We have decided that we shall not insist on a Cabinet berth… we were planning to give up our claim but after Shinde called us for a meeting on July 17, and we shall announce our plans the next day,” Kadu told reporters.

Kadu had also spoken to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis a couple of days ago.

Kadu said that the MVA failed to create the separate Ministry for Divyang Welfare and left the Thackeray-dispensation - but he joined the government on assurance from Shinde.

“Some people are upset because of what is happening,” he said.

In May this year, Kadu was made the Chairperson of state-level committee for Divyang Welfare Department and accorded the status of Cabinet minister.

Kadu had also expressed concern over reports that Pawar would be given the Finance portfolio - a ministry that he held in the MVA regime.

“Many MLAs feel that if the Finance portfolio goes to Pawar again, he will again give more funds to NCP MLAs and less to others…so they feel that Pawar should not get Finance portfolio,” he said.

Currently, the Finance and Planning ministry is with Fadnavis.

The government currently has 29 ministers - 10 each from Shiv Sena and BJP and nine from NCP while there are 14 vacancies. “The independents and members of smaller parties are expecting some ministries to be given to them,” informed sources said.

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Published 13 July 2023, 11:43 IST

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