PUNE: Maharashtra minister Dipak Kesarkar on Friday said that "everyone" will get the opportunity in the next round of cabinet expansion.
He was replying to a question about some rebel Shiv Sena MLAs in Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's faction being disappointed over not getting ministerial berth.
"We got nine ministerial berths in the recent cabinet expansion, and of them seven were ministers in the earlier government. In the second round, everybody will get the opportunity," he said.
Speaking about the disappointment of Bacchu Kadu, a minister of state in the earlier MVA government who is now part of the Shinde faction, Kesarkar said Kadu is a senior leader and also president of a political party, and "his prestige will be maintained" in the second round of expansion.
Meanwhile, new Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Friday said the party will work towards winning 45-plus Lok Sabha seats and more than 200 Assembly segments in the 2024 polls in the state in alliance with the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Underlining his priorities after the appointment, Bawankule said he will strive to further strengthen the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, where the saffron outfit is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena faction led by Shinde.
Addressing a press conference in Amravati, the former minister said "I have been appointed to strengthen the organisation in Maharashtra and make the BJP No.1 party in the state."
He said the Maharashtra BJP, under the overall leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, will reach out to the last man in the society.
The BJP leader said the state government was committed to the welfare of farmers and was working on a scheme to provide free electricity to cultivators.
The BJP will work towards winning 45-plus Lok Sabha seats and more than 200 Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra in the 2024 polls in alliance with the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction, said Bawankule, a member of the Legislative Council.
Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after 80 in Uttar Pradesh.
Assembly polls in the state, which has a 288-member House, are due in the second half of 2024.
The MLC said the Shinde-BJP government will seek to remove financial and other backlogs of underdeveloped Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, which he claimed, suffered due to wrong policies of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) administration.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday asked former party corporators to stay in constant touch with people as the crisis-hit outfit braces for the crucial elections to the Mumbai civic body.
Former mayor Kishori Pednekar said Thackeray had called a meeting at Sena Bhavan in Dadar in central Mumbai which was attended by former party corporators of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) whose term ended earlier this year.
In the 2017 BMC polls, the Shiv Sena had won 84 seats in the 227-member House.
Pednekar said 12 former corporators did not turn up for the meeting.
Of these, nine had informed they were out of Mumbai, while two cited medical reasons for their absence.
One corporator did not turn up after assuring that he would attend the meeting.
Thackeray also spoke about the "uprising in Bihar" by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and slammed the BJP for vitiating the political environment in the country as well in Maharashtra.
Earlier this week, Kumar's Janta Dal United walked out of the alliance with the BJP and tied up with the Rashtriya Janta Dal to form a new government in Bihar.
On Thursday, the Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', had heaped praise on Kumar for dumping the BJP.
"He (Thackeray) advised us to remain in touch with people constantly. He said the monsoon is already halfway through and if there is no consistency in rainfall, this could result in a spike in vector-borne diseases. So focus has to be on trying to coordinate with agencies in curbing such outbreaks," she said.
The Sena president also asked former corporators to focus on increasing the party's membership as his faction is at the loggerheads with rebel MLAs led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Pednekar said.
The membership could prove to be crucial when the Election Commission of India decides on who controls the Shiv Sena.
In June, the Shiv Sena faced its worst-ever crisis after 40 of the 55 MLAs revolted against the party leadership and aligned with rebel leader Eknath Shinde, who is now the CM.
Of the 18 Lok Sabha MPs from Maharashtra, the Shinde-led faction of rebel legislators has the support of 12.
Elections to the cash-rich BMC, which had been under the Sena control for more than two decades, are due later this year.