After missing out on a Cabinet berth, Shiv Sena leader and MLC Diwakar Raote on Thursday clarified that he was not unhappy. Maintaining that he was a loyal worker of the party, he stated that he would obey the order of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He buttressed this point by citing his presence at both the oath ceremony of the CM and Monday’s cabinet expansion function.
Diwakar Raote remarked, “I am loyal Shiv Sainik and will always be. I obey the orders given by my leadership. I was there in oath ceremony and also during the cabinet expansion. There is no question of being unhappy with the party.”
Raote is considered a senior leader of the party, who was Mumbai’s mayor in 1991. He was served as a minister in both the Sena-BJP governments. In the Cabinet of former CM Devendra Fadnavis, he held the Transport portfolio.
A total of 12 Shiv Sena, 14 NCP, and 10 Congress MLAs were administered the oath of office and secrecy in the Maharashtra Cabinet expansion on Monday. This includes Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Jitendra Awhad, spokesperson Nawab Malik, senior legislator Hasan Mushrif, newly-elected MLA Dhananjay Munde and Abdul Sattar, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and the CM's son Aaditya Thackeray. This led to considerable unease in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, with many MLAs publicly voicing their displeasure after missing out on a Cabinet berth.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Maharashtra Revenue Minister and Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat admitted to the infighting within his party over the Cabinet expansion. Initially, he maintained that it was normal for the allocation of portfolios to take two to three days. Subsequently, he conceded that there was disappointment in the Congress ranks as the number of MLAs interested in becoming ministers were much more than the number of ministries allocated to the party.
Balasaheb Thorat opined, “The situation is that we have fewer ministries and the number of MLAs interested in becoming ministers is more in number. There is a little bit of difficulty at such times. That will be decided. We will all work together.”