Shiv Sena Downplays Single Ministerial Berth in Modi’s Cabinet, Awaits Expansion

Mumbai, 10th June 2024: Downplaying Shiv Sena’s single ministerial berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated it was a token induction and assured that the party would receive its due share when the Union cabinet is expanded.

Shiv Sena had anticipated securing one cabinet rank and two Ministers of State with independent charge in Modi’s cabinet. However, on Sunday, only Buldhana MP Prataprao Jadhav was sworn in as a Minister of State. Expectations were that Maval MP Shrirang Barne and Thane MP Naresh Mhaske would also receive cabinet berths. In the recent Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena contested 15 seats in Maharashtra, winning seven, while the BJP contested 28 seats, winning only nine compared to 23 in the 2019 elections.

Instead of nominating his son Shrikant, who won from the Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency, CM Shinde chose Jadhav for induction into the Union cabinet. “I will prefer to work for the expansion of the organisation,” Shrikant later told the media.

A Shiv Sena spokesperson explained that before the Union cabinet formation, the BJP leadership had clarified the party’s potential representation in the Union cabinet. “We were told that we are in an era of coalition politics, and as a result, we must make certain compromises. Although Shiv Sena has seven members in the Lok Sabha, only one MP will be inducted into the cabinet with independent charge. We are happy with the induction of one MP, and we are confident that whenever PM Narendra Modi expands the cabinet, we will be given adequate representation,” the spokesperson said.

Shinde was instrumental in dislodging the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government by raising a banner of revolt against Thackeray’s leadership. Two years ago, Shinde, along with 44 Shiv Sena leaders, deserted Thackeray and later won a prolonged legal battle, securing the name and ‘bow-and-arrow’ symbol of the party.