NCP turns down BJP offer of MoS post to Praful Patel

Wednesday 12th June 2024 08:38 EDT

The NDA leadership rejected Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s demand to induct NCP Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel as a cabinet minister. After a meeting with J P Nadda, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, NCP was informed there’s only one minister of state (MoS) post on offer for smaller parties, barring N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U).
While Ajit Pawar and Patel accepted NDA’s contention, they decided “to wait till remedial measures are taken as early as possible”.
In view of his seniority, NCP was expecting that Patel would be granted a plum portfolio with cabinet rank. Patel said: “We were informed that NCP will get MoS with independent charge. I was earlier a cabinet minister in the Union government, so this would be a demotion for me. I had reservations on accepting the MoS post. We informed the BJP leadership and they told us to wait for a few days and they would take remedial measures.”
Pawar, who attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in Delhi along with state NCP president Sunil Tatkare, said, “Patel is a senior leader and has already held the post of MoS earlier. We have made it clear that either NCP gets a cabinet berth or we wait (till it becomes available). But we shall continue to support the NDA, there’s no question of us leaving the alliance.”

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