Irked at not being given an additional ministerial berth in expansion of the union cabinet, Shiv Sena skipped the swearing-in ceremony of nine Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers. Reacting to the expansion, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut said that the NDA has been murdered and it exists only when votes are needed for elections, such as presidential poll.
Raut rued, “Why should we attend? We had no orders from our president to attend. We work in Maharashtra. This was BJP expansion again. This was not NDA function. There is no question of being unhappy.” Even as Raut argued that the Sena was not unhappy at not being given a berth in the union cabinet expansion, he termed the BJP overlooking the NDA allies as “murder of NDA”.
He added that the NDA was now only left for meetings. “We are not craving for a ministerial berth. This is just a numbers game. When the time shall come we shall put forward our say. The NDA remains now only on paper. When the BJP needs support they turn to NDA for support. During Presidential, Vice Presidential elections the NDA is asked for support. At other times the NDA is not even considered,” said Raut. The sources from BJP claimed that the BJP had offered deputy speakers post in the Lok Sabha which the Shiv Sena apparently turned down as it wanted a cabinet rank ministry.