Shiv Sena wants a bigger share in new Modi government
It is learnt that BJP's biggest ally wants two Cabinet berths and one junior minister
A resurgent Shiv Sena is learnt to have demanded a bigger share in the Narendra Modi government that is likely to be sworn in on May 26. The Sena has been the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) biggest ally in terms of seats in Parliament, but it has failed in getting lucrative ministries and more berths. It had 18 MPs in the previous Lok Sabha, and this time it has managed to retain the same number.
Sources said the party, which acted more like the opposition in the past five years and threatened dissociation from the three-decade-old alliance, this time wants two Cabinet berths and one junior minister.
The Sena has just one cabinet minister, Anant Geete, in the outgoing government. Geete lost his Raigad seat to NCP's Sunil Tatkare. Some senior MPs too have lost their seats, thus making way for fresh faces.
A couple of years ago, the Sena was offered a minister of state position, but rejected it. Then a selected Rajya Sabha MP was asked by the Sena leadership to turn his back on the swearing-in and return to Mumbai.
It would be interesting to see if Modi, who didn't get influenced in the previous regime, but later chose to smoothen ties with the Sena for electoral machinations, yields this time to their demands. Sources said the Sena may not just stop at demanding more berths, but would also like to have good ministries at its disposal, because earlier it was given insignificant charge in the council of union ministers.
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