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On No NCP In Modi 3.0, Devendra Fadnavis Says No Consensus On Cabinet Offer

The NCP insisted on a cabinet berth for Praful Patel in Modi 3.0, Devendra Fadnavis said (File/PTI)

Mumbai:

The Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party wanted a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government but declined an offer from the BJP for a minister of state (MoS) with independent charge, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said today.

“We had offered one berth of a minister with an independent charge to the NCP and insisted that (Rajya Sabha MP) Praful Patel’s name be finalised. Due to his (Mr Patel’s) experience, the NCP believed he could not be made MoS with independent charge,” he said.

“In a coalition government, a formula has to be drawn, which cannot be broken for one party. I can confidently say whenever cabinet expansion takes place, the (Union) government will consider the NCP. We did try to include NCP right now, but they insisted on cabinet portfolio,” the senior BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Delhi, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar asserted the NCP “was ready to wait” but wanted a cabinet berth.

“We have one Lok Sabha member (Sunil Tatkare) and one Rajya Sabha MP (Praful Patel). In the coming months, we will have two additional Rajya Sabha MPs. We will have four MPs (then). We should (then) get a cabinet berth. We are ready to wait but want a cabinet berth,” Ajit Pawar said.

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Praful Patel said, “We were informed last night we will get a minister of state with independent charge. I was earlier cabinet minister (in the UPA government) and being made MoS would be a demotion. The BJP told us to wait for a few days and said they will take remedial measures.”

While Mr Patel said there is no “problem in the alliance” on this issue, Ajit Pawar asserted the NCP was supporting the NDA in the interest of the nation.

The Ajit Pawar-led NCP, part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra along with the BJP and the Shiv Sena, managed to win just one seat (Raigad) of the four it contested in the Lok Sabha polls. It also lost the prestige battle in Baramati, where Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar was trounced by the sitting MP from the rival NCP faction and his cousin, Supriya Sule.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)