Mumbai: A day after the expansion and reshuffle of the Narendra Modi Cabinet, ally Shiv Sena today took potshots at the BJP saying that it is difficult these days to find people of the same calibre as those who had served in the ministries of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Miffed at being ignored in the ministry expansion, Sena had yesterday said it was ‘hurt’ at the way the exercise was carried out and questioned the Prime Minister’s “selection criterion”.
“(Narendra) Modi is the lone face of this government. Compared to this, the ministries of Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had some excellent members like Babasaheb Ambedkar, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Yashwantrao Chavan and Shankarrao Chavan,” Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“The HRD ministry got its name only because of P V Narasimha Rao. The world got to know that India has a Finance Minister who works, only because of Manmohan Singh. People of the calibre in the cabinets of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi cannot be found today. In such a scenario, Modi has no option but to take complete responsibility of his Cabinet,” it said.
Apparently drawing cold comfort from the fact that it was mostly the BJP members who had been inducted in the ministry, it said the exercise was about the leading partner alone and so NDA partners like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and TDP should not feel bad for not being given additional berths. “Today, the BJP has a majority and thus they can do what they wish,” it added.
Sena, however, took a jibe at RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale, who has been made a Minister of State. “Athawale had earlier said that he would not accept a Cabinet berth till his party got a place in the Maharashtra government. What has caused him to change that stance now?,” it sought to know.