On Wednesday, a controversy erupted over the presence of Uddhav Thackeray’s relative in an official meeting at the state secretariat in Mumbai. Varun Sardesai, the relative in question, is not just the Secretary of Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, but also the nephew of Rashmi Thackeray, the wife of the Maharashtra Chief Minister. Apart from Sardesai, Worli MLA Aaditya Thackeray was also present in the same meeting on Monday. Neither Sardesai nor Aaditya Thackeray is part of the state Cabinet. The former however chose to downplay his presence at the meeting.
Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai downplays his presence at meeting chaired by uncle and Maharashtra CM #UddhavThackeray earlier this week after eyebrows were raised over his attendance in bureaucratic circles— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) December 4, 2019
This evoked a series of reactions from the opposition. While BJP member Shweta Shalini mocked the government for allowing Sardesai to attend the meeting, the party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari alleged that an alternative power centre was being created apart from the Chief Minister’s Office. He also noted that this was a breach of confidentiality.
Bhandari remarked, "It looks like an alternative power centre is being created apart from the Chief Minister’s Office.” He added, "It is also a violation of the confidentiality of government’s functioning.
Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 28 in front of thousands of people at Shivaji Park. Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil of the NCP and Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut of the Congress took oath as Ministers in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. However, the confusion over former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar's induction into the Cabinet still persists. Also, the portfolios haven't been allocated yet with a question mark over who would become the next Deputy CM from the NCP.