MUMBAI: Amid charges of BJP getting plum ministries, the party on Monday said that it was ready to swap some of the portfolios with loyalists of Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde. The BJP got three major portfolios – home, finance and revenue. The annual budgets of the departments of the BJP ministers are much higher than the Shinde loyalists.
If the Shinde camp ministers are unhappy with their portfolios, the BJP is ready to swap some of the ministries, said Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “This is the Shiv Sena and the BJP government, so we have to iron out our differences through discussions. The allocations have been done through consultations. If anyone still has an issue with a given ministry, then we will swap it. It is the normal practice,” Fadnavis said.
Some of the Shinde camp ministers had expressed their displeasure over allocation of portfolio. Dada Bhuse, who was agriculture minister in the previous Uddhav Thackeray government, got the port and mining ministry, Gulabrao Patil, former water supply and sanitation minister, retained the same portfolio, while Deepak Kesar, who was expecting the environment and tourism ministry, but was given school education ministry.
Meanwhile, BJP minister Girish Mahajan said, “If there is displeasure, then both the party leaders will sit together and resolve the issue.” Sources said that state’s Chief Minister Shinde has told his ministers that they should not express their displeasure over allocation of ministries. “CM Eknath Shinde told me that the BJP is giving him full support. If there are any issues with ministries, then people should talk to him, not to the media. We have to work as a team,” said a person, privy to this development.
Minister makes U-turn on Vande Mataram
Maharashtra Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar took a U-turn on Monday over the use of ‘Vande Mataram’ as a greeting word by state government employees. He said that he has not made it mandatory for people to say ‘Vande Mataram’, but people who are using the greeting ‘hello’ over the phone should henceforth use ‘Vande Mataram’. Meanwhile, opposition parties slammed Mungantiwar, alleging that he is against “Marathis and Marathi word Namaskar” that has been traditionally used to greet people in the state.