Can’t accept ‘demotion’, will wait for new offer, says NCP | India News – Times of India


MUMBAI: The NDA leadership on Sunday rejected deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar‘s demand to induct NCP Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel as a cabinet minister. While Ajit Pawar and Patel have accepted NDA’s contention, they have decided “to wait till remedial measures are taken as early as possible.”
After a meeting with BJP president J P Nadda, home minister Amit Shah and defence minister Rajnath Singh late on Saturday, NCP was informed there’s only one one minister of state (MoS) post on offer for smaller parties, barring N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party and Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United).
In view of his seniority, NCP was expecting that Patel would be granted a plum portfolio with cabinet rank. Patel said: “We were informed that NCP will get MoS with independent charge. I was earlier a cabinet minister in the Union government, so this would be a demotion for me. I had reservations on accepting the MoS post. We informed the BJP leadership and they told us to wait for a few days and they would take remedial measures.”
Pawar, who attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in Delhi along with state NCP president Sunil Tatkare, said, “Patel is a senior leader and has already held the post of MoS earlier. We have made it clear that either NCP gets a cabinet berth or we wait (till it becomes available). But we shall continue to support the NDA, there’s no question of us leaving the alliance.”
Pawar said that during his meeting with Nadda, Singh and Shah in the presence of Patel and state NCP president Sunil Tatkare, he pointed out that currently NCP has two MPs – one each in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – but in the months to come, its strength will increase to four, with the possibility of two additional RS members. “Under such circumstances, I argued NCP’s case for a cabinet berth. I also explained to the BJP leadership that Patel is a senior cabinet member … Under such circumstances, if NCP is given MoS post, it would be a great injustice…not appropriate. When the BJP leadership told us that NCP will have to wait for a cabinet rank, we agreed accordingly,” he added.
In the Lok Sabha polls, NCP managed to win just one seat – Tatkare wresting the Raigad seat – of the four it contested from. Following whispers that NCP was unhappy, deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday rushed to Tatkare’s residence where Patel and Pawar were already present. “Certain situations are to be accepted in coalition politics. The BJP leadership has taken certain decisions on the constitution of the cabinet for the partners. At his juncture, it will not be possible for us to change the formula for one ally. I am sure the NCP has understood the situation. It is not the end game, soon the cabinet will be expanded and issues raised by NCP will be answered to their satisfaction,” he said.


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