Mumbai: BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Thursday criticised the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray for failing to allocate portfolios to its ministers even after a week of being sworn in.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP came together and formed the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government which took office late last month. However, ministers are yet to be allotted portfolios. "The MVA made promises to Independents at the time of government formation, but eight days after the swearing-in ceremony, not a single ministerial portfolio has been allocated," Shelar said in a statement.
He claimed that there was a "huge unrest" among legislators of all the three MVA alliance partners. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as chief minister of the state on November 28.
Besides Thackeray, Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, NCP MLAs Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal, and Congress' Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut also took oath, but they have not been assigned any ministry so far. A source said the allocation of portfolios to the six ministers is "expected soon".
A meeting of prominent Congress and NCP leaders took place in New Delhi earlier this week to discuss the allocation of portfolios, according to sources. "The meeting was attended by NCP's Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, and Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan and Nitin Raut. A discussion with the Shiv Sena will follow before taking a final decision," a source said.
As per the sharing of ministerial berths decided among the MVA allies, the Shiv Sena is to get 16 ministries, including the CM's post, the NCP 15, including deputy chief minister's post, and the Congress 12, apart from the Assembly Speaker, sources said.
The state government can have a 43-member council of ministers, which is 15 per cent of the total strength of the 288-member Assembly. According to sources, NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who rebelled against his party and joined hands with the BJP briefly before returning, is keen on getting the deputy chief minister's post.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has already committed the post to Jayant Patil, they said. The expansion of the council of ministers is likely after the winter session of the state legislature, which will be held from December 16 to 21 in Nagpur, they said.