MUMBAI: All three ruling parties in Maharashtra are facing discontent over portfolio allocations, with disgruntled Congress leaders going to the extent of blaming their state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat for getting a raw deal.
Thorat, a Gandhi family loyalist, took the oath as the minister along with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on November 28.
While the Shiv Sena got urban, industry, agriculture portfolios, the NCP bagged finance, home, housing, excise, and co-operative. Revenue, PWD and energy are some of the portfolios that went to the Congress.
The grudge is that the NCP got an upper hand as the ‘money-milking’ portfolios went with it. The Congress ministers rue that they got less important portfolios. “These departments like OBC, animal Husbandry, textiles, fisheries, tribal development like department have not significant budgetary allocations that can be used to impact the people. Besides, these departments are not directly connected to people,” a Congress minister said. “We can show our work to the masses. We too are in power yet don’t have it.”
Thorat, however, denied all these allegations. “We are the third in the list but still got the crucial departments such as revenue, which is called the second most important portfolio in Maharashtra. It is important how you see (the scenario) and how you build your perspective.”
In NCP, Chagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil, Dilip Walse Patil and Ajit Pawar’s aide Dhananjay Munde had expected “plum” posts but were given less important offices.
Subhash Desai, a family friend of Thackeray, was given industry. Sena shunted out old faces such as Deepak Kesarkar, Ravindra Waikar, and Tanaji Sawant. Sena’s Abdul Sattar had resigned, but later reconciled.
Who gets what
CM Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena) –GAD, information and technology, and law and judiciary
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (NCP) – finance and planning
Aditya Thackeray (Shiv Sena) – tourism, protocol, environment
Subhash Desai (Shiv Sena) – industry, mining, Marathi language
Ashok Chavan (Cong) – PWD (excluding public undertakings)
Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP) – food civil supplies and consumer protections