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'Will Speak to CM and Comment': Shiv Sena's Lone Muslim MLA on Rumours of His Resignation

Sena leaders earlier in the day had dismissed reports that Abdul Sattar, who is a minister of state, had quit because he wanted a Cabinet berth.


Updated:January 4, 2020, 11:26 PM IST
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'Will Speak to CM and Comment': Shiv Sena's Lone Muslim MLA on Rumours of His Resignation
File photo of Shiv Sena MLA Abdul Sattar.

New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Abdul Sattar, who was rumoured to have resigned from the Maharashtra ministry as he did not get a Cabinet rank, on Saturday said he would speak after meeting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Sena leaders earlier in the day had dismissed reports that Sattar, who is a minister of state and the party’s lone Muslim face, had quit because he wanted a Cabinet berth.

"I will meet Shiv Sena president and chief minister Thackeray in Mumbai tomorrow and then I will speak," Sattar told reporters in Aurangabad on Saturday when asked if he had resigned.

Sena leader Arjun Khotkar met Sattar earlier in the day.

"Sattar had a word with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and (senior Sena leader) Eknath Shinde. Thackeray has called him to Mumbai on Sunday. He will meet Sattar at Matoshree (the Thackeray residence) at 12.30 pm," Khotkar said.

Sattar, MLA from Sillod in Aurangabad district, quit the Congress before the Assembly elections last year and joined the Sena. He was made a minister of state in the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government.

Dismissing the rumours of Sattar having resigned, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai earlier on Saturday said "no resignations will be accepted".

Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut claimed that no such letter of resignation has reached Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. Hinting at Sattar's previous political ideologies, Raut said, "He was not with the Sena from beginning. No department is small or insignificant. If anyone thinks so, it is wrong."

Meanwhile, senior Shiv Sena leader from Aurangabad, Chandrakant Khaire, lashed out at Sattar and called him a "traitor". Khaire claimed that Sattar's supporters did not support the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MAV) candidate in the Zilla Parishad election in Aurangabad earlier on Saturday.

"He should not be allowed to enter the sacred Matoshree," the former MP from Aurangabad said.

Meena Shelke of the MAV was elected president of the Zilla Parishad through lottery after she and her Sena rival Devyani Dongaonkar were stuck in a tie.

Local Sena leaders claimed that Dongaonkar had filed her nomination by defying the party fiat to back Shelke.

Khaire alleged that Sattar's supporters among Zilla Parishad members did not vote for the MAV candidate.

A total of 36 leaders from the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, including Ajit Pawar and Aaditya Thackeray, took oath as ministers in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Monday. However, as reports of fissures within the three-party combine began to surface, NCP chief Sharad Pawar clarified that nobody is unhappy over portfolio allocation.

The Thackeray government is reportedly struggling with the issue of portfolio allocation as squabbles within the MVA are yet to be resolved. To make matters worse, internal dissent within the constituents has exposed the fissures in the alliance.

In the Sena, sources said several MLAs are unhappy over "lost opportunities". Bhaskar Jadhav, Pratap Sarnaik, Sunil Raut — Sanjay Raut's brother — Prakash Abitkar, and Tanaji Sawant are among those to have voiced their discontent with losing out on a ministerial post.

Talking about portfolios, a source said that junior Thackeray could be given an easy portfolio like tourism. "The idea is to help him learn the ropes of administration. Giving him a difficult portfolio might make him face big challenges at the nascent stage itself," the source added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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