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NCP was offered MoS Independent rank, not Cabinet berth: Ajit Pawar

NCP was offered MoS Independent rank, not Cabinet berth: Ajit Pawar

Mumbai, June 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) Nationalist Congress Party President and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday clarified that his party had not joined the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Ministry as the BJP had offered his party a berth of Minister of State (Independent Charge) though it had requested a cabinet rank position.

The party decided not to settle for the MoS (Independent Charge) post as it had unanimously recommended its Working President Praful Patel’s name for minister and he had been a Cabinet minister in the past.


Pawar, however, made it clear that the NCP would continue to be in the NDA and its support will continue in future too.

"The party had taken a decision that Working President Praful Patel would represent it in the Union Cabinet. However, during discussions, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and JP Nadda communicated that NDA allies have been offered the MoS (Independent Charge). Praful Patel had worked as a Cabinet minister earlier and it would have been his demotion. The BJP leaders indicated that it would not be possible to accommodate Patel in the Cabinet as other allies have been offered MoS (Independent (Charge). BJP leaders, however, said that our request will be considered during expansion. Therefore, it was decided that the NCP will not join the cabinet but will continue to support the NDA," he said.

Patel also echoed Pawar, saying: "There is some little bit of misunderstanding created because yesterday night we had got information that the NCP will get MoS (Independent Charge) which Maharashtra Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis also clarified. It is in line with what was offered to other alliance partners. The only difference is that I, having been a Cabinet minister in the Union government in the past, did have a reservation to accept the MoS (Independent Charge) as it would be for me personally coming down or demotion. So we have informed the BJP leadership and they have already told us to just wait for a few days, and they will take remedial measures. If that is the line the BJP has taken, it does not mean that we should say immediately that there is some problem.’"

Patel, who was accompanied by BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde, underlined that "Both of us are working hand in hand as we are here."

Earlier, Fadnavis confirmed that the NCP was offered one berth - of MoS (Independent Charge).

"But they had said that they had finalised the name of Praful Patel, who was already a Cabinet minister. Therefore, he would not be able to hold the post of MoS (Independent Charge. When a government is formed with an alliance some criteria need to be decided, because several sides are together... Because of one party, the criteria cannot be twisted. There will be expansion... at that time, the NCP will be remembered," he said.

Even though Pawar and Patel have made the party's stand clear, there is an impression within the cadres that it was done intentionally, especially against the backdrop of NCP’s dismal performance in the just concluded general elections. Patel’s induction would have given a signal to critics, especially the NCP-SP which was ridiculing the NCP for not figuring in the Cabinet. Further, a ministerial berth to Patel would have also given a partial boost for NCP to step up its efforts for consolidation especially in the run-up to the Maharashtra Assembly elections slated for September-October this year.

Source: IANS

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NCP was offered MoS Independent rank, not Cabinet berth: Ajit Pawar

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