Ananth Kumar refuses to accept ‘low portfolio’
As the ministers of Modi cabinet were busy assuming charges of their respective ministries on Tuesday, reportedly, there were some resentments among BJP members as well as leaders of its allies over the portfolio distribution. Sources confirmed that Ananth Kumar, one of the BJP’s most prominent leaders in Karnataka, refused to take the charge of the ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in Narendra Modi government on Tuesday.
Sources further said that Kumar was not happy with the kind of portfolio he has been allotted, despite winning the Bangalore South seat for the sixth time in a row.
‘Preparations were on the full swing to felicitate the minister at the ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Mediapersons were also waiting to meet the new minister, but Kumar didn't turn up to assume the office,’ the sources said.
Reportedly, the allotment of high-profile ministry of railways to Sadanand Gowda, the former state chief minister, created problems for BJP’s Kumar. Meanwhile, Kumar attended the first cabinet meet of the Modi government on Tuesday.
Sources further said that Ramvilas Paswan has also reluctantly joined his office as the cabinet minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the NDA’s second regime.
The buzz in the political circles is that Kumar has not been given the plum portfolio as he enjoys close relations with BJP’s veteran LK Advani. He is among the few leaders who stood beside the BJP veteran through thick and thin.
Apart from these two leaders, the Shiv Sena has also expressed reservations over the low profile ministerial berth given to the party which is the oldest ally of the BJP. Sources said that Anant Geete, a senior leader of Shiv Sena, did not assume the charge of the ministry of heavy industries because he was unhappy with the portfolio.
Sena sources said the party was expecting more ministerial berths as it is the second-largest party in the NDA with 18 members in the Lok Sabha.