- The Shiv Sena leadership is yet to accept Abdul Sattar’s resignation
- Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to speak to him soon
- An NCP leader had resigned after the cabinet expansion last month
The Shiv Sena’s Abdul Sattar, whom sources said had quit the Maharashtra government earlier today after failing to get a cabinet berth, surfaced this evening to deny reports of his resignation. Mr Sattar, who was made Minister of State, said “I have not resigned” but would make no further comment except to say he would meet party leader and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai tomorrow. The former Congress politician had joined the Shiv Sena shortly before Assembly polls in October.
“I have not resigned. I am going to talk to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at ‘Matoshree‘. After that, whatever decision will be taken by the Chief Minister, we will accept,” Mr Sattar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Mr Sattar is expected to meet the Chief Minister at , the Thackeray family’s residence, at 12.30 pm, according to party leader Arjun Khotkar, who was quoted by news agency PTI.
Earlier his son, Sameer Sattar, refused to comment and told news agency ANI he had no information. “It would be better to wait and watch,” he said.
Sena leaders had dismissed reports that Abdul Sattar had resigned and that it was linked to his not being given a cabinet berth. Senior party leader Sanjay Raut said the matter would be resolved after Chief Minister Thackeray speaks to Mr Sattar, who is the MLA from Sillod in Aurangabad district.
“Whenever cabinet expansion is taken up, some leaders are left disappointed over not getting the position of their choice. But they should understand that this is a government of the Maha Vikas Agadi and not Shiv Sena,” he said, adding Mr Sattar had been included “even though he came from outside”.
Earlier, several Congress leaders had also expressed disappointment over not being given positions in the state cabinet after the Shiv Sena joined hands with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress to form a non-BJP government in Maharashtra.
Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar and 34 other leaders from Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress were among the politicians who took oath as state cabinet ministers on December 30. Prakash Solanke, the Nationalist Congress Party MLA from Beed district, had resigned hours after the cabinet expansion, but denied reports that his decision was related to not being made a minister.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, whose Republican party of India (A) is allied with the BJP, had earlier termed the tri-party government in Maharashtra as an autorickshaw with wheels rotating in different directions. “Three parties have come together in Maharashtra, but I don’t think the three-wheeler can run for long,” he said, in an apparent reference to the inherent ideological differences between the three allies.
The Shiv Sena had earlier severed ties with the BJP, its ally for three decades, after the latter refused to concede to its demand for rotational chief ministership in the state.
With inputs from ANI, PTI