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Modi Cabinet: 'Ready to wait,' says NCP as it turns down MoS berth, BJP promises remedial measures for ally

NCP chief Ajit Pawar informed BJP leadership that they could not take up the offer as their choice Praful Patel has already been a Cabinet minister and he could not take up a seat below that rank.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 13:30 IST
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 13:30 IST

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New Delhi: The tug of war over Cabinet berth in the new Narendra Modi government saw NCP on Sunday deciding not to take up a slot of Minister of State with independent charge offered by the BJP.

However, both sides chose not to precipitate tension with the NCP attending the swearing in ceremony and saying it was “ready to wait for some more days” and BJP promising to take “remedial measures” to address the concerns of the Maharashtra ally.

NCP chief Ajit Pawar informed BJP leadership that they could not take up the offer as their choice Praful Patel has already been a Cabinet minister and he could not take up a seat below that rank.

As NCP played the hard ball, BJP sent Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and senior General Secretary Vinod Tawde to meet Pawar and other senior leaders.

Ajit Pawar-led NCP had won just one seat in the elections while its ally Shiv Sena won nine each in alliance in Maharashtra.

Track Live updates of PM-designate Narendra Modi's swearing-in here

Pawar told reporters, “Praful Patel has served as a cabinet minister at the Centre and we did not feel right in taking MoS with independent charge. So we told them that we are ready to wait for a few days, but we want a cabinet ministry.”

“We have one Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha MP today, but in the next 2-3 months we will have a total of 3 members in the Rajya Sabha and our number of MPs in Parliament will be 4. So we said we should be given one seat in the Cabinet,” he added.

The NCP was told by the BJP leadership that it could give only one MoS with independent charge post as it has to accommodate more allies this time, which was not acceptable to the party. Shiv Sena has also been given only a MoS with independent charge post.

Patel said both NCP and BJP are working hand in hand and Fadnavis told them that they have been offered what has been given to other allies also.

“Only difference is that earlier, myself being a cabinet minister earlier, I had reservations about taking up the MoS post. We informed the BJP about our issues. They have told us to wait for a few days to take remedial measures. If that is the line taken, it does not mean that we can say there is trouble,” he said.

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Published 09 June 2024, 13:30 IST

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