MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday took a swipe at the BJP, saying it should thank the Sena and the NCP for providing it "human resource" to fill cabinet berths in the Narendra Modi-led central government.
Talking to reporters here, Raut pointed out that Kapil Patil and Bharti Pawar, the new central Ministers of State (MoS) for Panchayati Raj and Health, respectively, were earlier with the NCP, while MSME Minister Narayan Rane was earlier a part of the Sena and also the Congress.
Three out of the four Union ministers from Maharashtra sworn in on Wednesday are not from the BJP background. "Prime Minister Modi must have seen some spark in them to give them important portfolios. The BJP should thank the Shiv Sena and NCP for providing it good human resource for induction into the Union ministry," Raut quipped.
The Sena leader, whose party shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra, also claimed that Narayan Rane's stature is "bigger" than what has been allocated to him. "Rane has been a chief minister and held important portfolios in the past. In the MSME ministry, he has the challenge to revive small and medium industries, which have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to generate employment," the Rajya Sabha member said.
Asked if Rane has been inducted into the Union ministry to counter the Shiv Sena in the state's Konkan region, Raut said, "Saying so amounts to insulting the cabinet and the Constitution." "Do you induct ministers to serve the country or to target political rivals?" he asked.
All four ministers from Maharashtra have got good portfolios and will get a chance to serve people in the MSME, finance and health sectors, Raut said, while lamenting the exit of BJP leader Prakash Javadekar from the Union cabinet.