Mumbai: In a searing attack on the Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday said several MLAs from the other camp have been contacting them after the cabinet expansion. He even said that Shiv Sena’s doors are open to all those who want to come back to the original party.
“Some people trapped in the Eknath Shinde faction are now contacting us after the cabinet expansion. Our doors are open for all who want to join us back. All who want to stay there, tender your resignation & face us in elections,” former Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray said.
Some people trapped in the Eknath Shinde faction are now contacting us after the cabinet expansion. Our doors are open for all who want to join us back. All who want to stay there, tender your resignation & face us in elections: Former Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray pic.twitter.com/zpCUygcQWa
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2022
Who is the real CM of Maharashtra?
The junior Thackeray further said that everyone knows who is the “real chief minister”, apparently alluding to the clout of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP in the new dispensation. Taking a dig at the cabinet expansion, Aaditya Thackeray said the ministerial team has neither heard Mumbai’s voice nor the voice of women or Independent MLAs.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde last week expanded his Cabinet, inducting nine MLAs each of the rebel Shiv Sena camp and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is supporting his government. No woman legislator or Independent was inducted into the Cabinet whose strength is now 20. The first 14 to 15 MLAs who aligned with Shinde when he revolted against the Shiv Sena leadership in June have not found a place in the Cabinet. “So there is no place for loyalty,” Aaditya Thackeray, a former minister, mocked while talking to reporters outside the state legislature.
“Everyone now knows who the real chief minister is,” he said in an apparent reference to Fadnavis, who holds home, finance and a host of other key portfolios. Post the expansion, the Shiv Sena faction led by party president Uddhav Thackeray criticised the Shinde government, saying crucial portfolios have been allocated to the BJP.
No one from Mumbai in the cabinet: Aaditya
“Independents have not got any place. Women have not got any place in the Cabinet nor has Mumbai,”‘ said the junior Thackeray. The lone Cabinet minister from the metropolis is Mangal Prabhat Lodha, the BJP MLA from Malabar Hill in south Mumbai. Nearly 10 independent MLAs had backed Shinde after he rebelled against the party. Aaditya Thackeray said those who have got a place in the Cabinet have been “downgraded”, a reference to rebel Sena MLAs who have got portfolios considered lightweight.
Attacking the 40 rebel Sena MLAs, he said, “They stabbed a kind person (Uddhav Thackeray) in the back. Doors are open for those who want to come back, but those who want to stay there must quit as MLA.”
The junior Thackeray has been consistently assailing the rebels since the June revolt, branding them as ‘gaddars’ (traitors). The rebellion in the Shiv Sena had led to the collapse of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June-end.