Taking a dig at the delayed allotment of portfolios by the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra, NCP's state chief Jayant Patil said only a "two-man cabinet" was functional and problems of people due to the flood-like situation and other issues were being ignored.
Patil also suggested that differences between the alliance partners - BJP and Shiv Sena's Shinde faction - could be the reason for the delay in portfolio allotments.
The NCP leader's comments come at a time when the BJP and the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena have come together to form the government in Maharashtra. While key portfolios are yet to be distributed, Shinde has taken over as the chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis has assumed office as deputy chief minister.
Patil termed the state of affairs a 'sad' one and said just 'a two-man cabinet' was in place. "The oath ceremony was on June 30. It has been nearly a month but still, cabinet expansion has not taken place, only CM and deputy CM are functioning as the whole state cabinet. It's still a two-man cabinet of the Maharashtra Government," the NCP leader said.
He claimed that the delay may be either due to the pendency of the case in the Supreme Court or due to the internal dispute over the distribution of ministries.
"It is a very sad state of affairs that government does not have its whole cabinet. The delay may be either due to the pendency of the case in SC or due to the internal dispute over the distribution of ministries among both the allies or both reasons together," said Patil.
He claimed that the grievances of people were going unaddressed during these tough times when flood-like situations prevailed across the state.
Earlier in a hard-hitting interview with Sanjay Raut for party mouthpiece Saamana, former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said, "This government is still not formed, its only 2 people who are running everything. The ones at top (In Delhi) will open the locks, and then we will see. But I don't think anyone has the courage to do unconstitutional things."
As per sources, three primary reasons constitute the delay in the expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet. "The major reasons are power-sharing between BJP and Sena, having a consensus about portfolios of each other and the third thing is selecting faces for the respective cabinet berths from the MLAs," said a source on condition of anonymity.
The sources further stated that the BJP had already offered the chief minister's post to the Shinde-led faction and now wanted a decent representation in the portfolio.
Earlier on Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday greeted his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray on his birthday and referring to him as the former chief minister, wished him a long and healthy life.
Shiv Sena's Thackeray and Shinde factions are locked in a bitter tussle to prove which of them is the real representative of the party that was founded by Balasaheb Thackeray.