No space for rebellion

Mr Geete said Mr Modi has assured Uddhav Thackeray that they would get more berths

It may not exactly be eating humble pie, but it came close to it as Shiv Sena minister Anant Geete took charge of the heavy industries and public enterprises ministry on Wednesday, two days after being sworn in as a minister. A miffed Shiv Sena leadership had asked him not to take up his post because it felt that having won the second largest number of seats in Parliament (18) among the NDA allies, it should have been given more berths than just one. Mr Geete was reported to have told Prime Minister Narendra Modi the ministry was “bura (bad)”, to which Mr Modi is said to have retorted, “Then make it good”.

In a face-saver, Mr Geete said Mr Modi has assured Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that they would get more berths, and he a “good” ministry, in the future Cabinet expansion.

For the present, however, Mr Modi has sent a trite message to the Sena that rebellion, however petty, will not be tolerated. Mr Modi could take this stand because his party won a majority without the allies. Besides, he is a no-nonsense person, unlike his predecessors who would probably have buckled after making a few polite noises. Mr Modi has established that the principle of first among equals is not just a catchy phrase. For the Sena, this little fracas could signal more trouble ahead with the Maharashtra Assembly elections a few months away. They have always fought the elections with the BJP as an ally; this time the BJP will strike a hard bargain for more seats because, unlike the past, it is now in a commanding position.

( Source : dc )
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