Shiv Sena, which is in alliance with the BJP, has expressed its disappointment with the new government for allotting the portfolio of the heavy industries and public enterprises ministry to its leader Arvind Sawant. Sena leaders told that they were expecting the railways or civil aviation ministry portfolio, and not heavy industries, which the party has been getting for some time. “We are the second-biggest party in the NDA after the BJP, and we have been their allies for so long, we expected better,” said one of the party leaders. The decision to allot the heavy industries portfolio has made matters worse as some Shiv Sena MPs were already miffed with the party leadership and the BJP for being given only one Cabinet berth. The party was seeking either a second Cabinet berth or the Deputy Speaker’s post in the Lok Sabha, or that one of its leaders be nominated as a Governor, said a few party leaders.
However, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters on Friday: “There are many portfolios where transformation is a challenge. Industry is a very important ministry as it is connected with the country’s progress. The industries that are being shut need to be revived. Make in India, Made in India and Start up India are three aims of the Prime Minister that have to be fulfilled by this ministry, only this is what we believe. We shall see what steps need to be taken in that view.” The Shiv Sena has been at loggerheads with the BJP ever since its leader Anant Geete was given the same heavy industries portfolio during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term in 2014. The party kept slamming both the BJP and the PM before the two parties came together for the Lok Sabha polls that ended on May 19.
Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi was also in charge of the heavy industries ministry during the late Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure as prime minister. With the assembly polls just a few months away, analysts say peace between the two may last a little longer this time as Shiv Sena is waiting to see its share when the Maharahtra Cabinet is reshuffled.