Despite being an important state, Maharashtra remains neglected following the cabinet reshuffle.
Though the state has a sizeable representation in Lok Sabha, it has failed to replicate the same kind of strength in Rajya Sabha.
The state managed to get just one berth in the union cabinet on Monday taking its tally to eight — five members from the Congress and three from NCP.
Interestingly, one member each from both the parties are not originally from the state but made it to the Rajya Sabha through the state’s quota.
Earlier, Maharashtra was represented by stalwarts such as Y B Chavan, S B Chavan, Shivraj Patil and others. Gone are those days: Maharashtra’s leadership has lost its sheen today. This can be confirmed sufficiently by Congress’ refusal to fill up vacancies created by the resignations of leaders from the state such as Mukul Wasnik and Gurudas Kamat. The party did not bother induct anyone to fill up these slots, which remained vacant after the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Thanks to such poor representation, the state is losing out on different fronts, including allocation of funds for development in railways, highways, ports and other fields.
It is important to have bargaining power at the Centre, in order to reap the benefits of power.
Of course, two senior leaders from the state occupy seats the the Centre —Sharad Pawar and Sushilkumar Shinde. But this is of little help. While Pawar represents NCP, a coalition partner, Shinde’s repeated media blunders have earned him no respect from any quarter.