NCP turns down MoS rank in Council of Ministers, opts to wait for Cabinet rank

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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar (File image)

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP chief Ajit Pawar (File image)

New Delhi: The NCP on Sunday turned down the BJP's offer to accommodate Praful Patel as a minister of state with independent charge in the new NDA government and said it was assured that "remedial measures" would be taken.

Patel, the working president of BJP ally NCP, argued that since he had already served as a Cabinet minister in the Union government, assuming office as a minister of state with independent charge would be a "demotion" for him.

"We have conveyed this to the BJP leadership and have been asked to wait for some days till it takes remedial measures," Patel told reporters here on a day when Narendra Modi would be sworn in as prime minister.

As per the power-sharing arrangements, the NCP was offered one post in the Council of Ministers of the NDA government led by PM Modi.

BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Vinod Tawde called on Patel, who was reportedly upset at the "demotion" in the Union government.

The NCP has two members in the Parliament -- Patel in the Rajya Sabha and Sunil Tatkare in the Lok Sabha. The NCP is likely to increase its tally in the Rajya Sabha by two in the next few months.

Fadnavis said the BJP had decided on a criteria for handing out ministerial berths to coalition partners on the basis of their strengths in the Parliament.

"We cannot twist the criteria for one party. The NCP will be accommodated in the future whenever their will be an expansion of the Cabinet as they had requested for a Cabinet rank in the Council of Ministers," Fadnavis, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, said.

NCP president Ajit Pawar said he supported the NDA and was seen at the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi.