"Uddhav Thackeray will step down …": Ex-Congressman warns his party, NCP

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<pre><pre>"Uddhav Thackeray will step down ...": Ex-Congressman warns his party, NCP

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray expanded his cabinet last month. (File)

Mumbai:

Former Maharashtra Congressman Yashwantrao Gadakh warned his party men and leaders of the Sharad Pawar Nationalist Congress Party, who have expressed in the cabinet over the past few months their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray's distribution of the portfolio. In a strong message he said: "Behave properly or Uddhav Thackeray will resign".

The 76-year-old chairman said he was disappointed with the allocation of portfolios and cabinet beds. Leaders such as Vijay Wadettiwar had to be convinced by the party leadership.

Mr Gadakh, who won the national election three times from Ahmednagar's seat, said that Uddhav Thackeray was "not a regular politician" and "had the mentality of an artist".

The leaders of the Congress and the NCP – two allies of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, headed by Shiv Sena in Maharashtra – "should stop complaining about portfolios," he advised.

Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray expanded his cabinet last month after lengthy consultations. The three parties fought over the cabinet seats and the distribution of the portfolio. The NCP appeared to be the clear winner when it wrapped up the home, finance and water resources portfolios along with the post of Deputy Prime Minister to Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar.

Congress chairman Abdul Sattar, who had joined Shiv Sena prior to the state elections, was reportedly fired because he had not received a cabinet berth, but later withdrew from his resignation.

Amid dissatisfaction with the alliance, the BJP attacked the government of Uddhav Thackeray and declared that it would "fall apart because so many leaders are unhappy".

Devendra Fadnavis, former prime minister and opposition leader, turned to Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi.

"It took a month to expand the ministry. Even after a week, they cannot allocate portfolios. And now, before the portfolio allocation takes place, a minister has already resigned. This is the beginning of the fall of this government," said Mr. Fadnavis said.