Taking a swipe at the BJP over cabinet expansion, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said it should thank Shiv Sena and NCP for providing new faces in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet. Raut, however, denied that Narayan Rane had been inducted to counter the Sena.
Raut, speaking to the media, said Kapil Patil and Bharti Pawar, the new ministers of state (MoS) for panchayati raj and health, respectively, were with the NCP earlier. However, MSME minister Narayan Rane was earlier with the Sena and then with the Congress before joining the BJP, he said. In all, four ministers from Maharashtra had been inducted into the Cabinet on Wednesday, Raut added.
“The BJP should thank Shiv Sena and NCP for providing new faces from Maharashtra for induction into the Union cabinet. The original face of the cabinet is of Shiv Sena and NCP. At the Centre, many senior leaders have been sidelined and those who have come from other parties have been given responsibilities. But they might have been given the portfolios looking at their capabilities,” said Raut.
The Sena leader further said Rane’s stature was “bigger” than the ministerial portfolio allotted to him. “Rane was a chief minister and held important portfolios in the past. Now he has the portfolio of the MSME ministry…” he added.
Asked if Rane had been inducted to counter the Sena in Konkan, Raut denied this stating that it would be an insult to the cabinet and the Constitution.
“If that is the case, they should say the ministerial berth has been given to attack political opponents. Ministerial portfolios are not given for such works (to attack political opponents) but to serve the people and the nation,” he added.