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Anant Geete, sole Shiv Sena minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet, to quit

The Shiv Sena's solitary representative in the union cabinet, Anant Geete, will quit his post soon, party chief Uddhav Thackeray indicated here Monday.

"After the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the US, Geete will meet him and tender his resignation," Thackeray said here, five days after the six-party Grand Alliance in the state collapsed last Thursday.

With this, the BJP-Sena alliance will end at the state and centre levels, but would continue in several prominent civic bodies in the state, including Asia's richest, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

Uddhav's announcement came a day after his estranged cousin Raj Thackeray questioned the Sena move of "clinging" to power in Delhi though the BJP had broken their 25-year old alliance in Maharashtra.

Calling upon Sena to immediately withdraw its MP from the union cabinet, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief went to the extent of saying that if he had been alive, the late Bal Thackeray would have terminated the alliance with BJP at least a month back.

The Sena had been a constituent of NDA-I headed by then prime minister A.B. Vajpayee with three cabinet ministers, and later bagging the prestigious post of Lok Sabha Speaker for Manohar Joshi.

In the NDA-II, the Sena had to remain content with just one cabinet berth with a relatively light portfolio, despite having more MPs than on the previous occasion.

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