Lone Shiv Sena minister Anant Geete to quit Union Cabinet

RSTV Bureau

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Anant Geete, Shiv Sena’s lone member in the Union Cabinet, will resign, party Chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday, four days after the split in the saffron alliance.

“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from the US, Geete will go to him and submit his resignation,” he said.

Sena sources said that the party is also likely to quit NDA.

Uddhav’s announcement followed estranged cousin and MNS Chief Raj Thackeray riling him at a poll rally here yesterday for the Sena “sticking to” power in Delhi despite breaking up with BJP.

Raj had said that Uddhav should immediately ask Geete to resign as a mark of protest against the insult meted out to Shiv Sena.

Attacking BJP for ending its 25-year-old alliance with Shiv Sena, Raj had said that had party patriarch Bal Thackeray been alive he would have ended the association a month ago.

Sena, ruling NDA’s second largest constituent with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, was upset over poor representation it got in the Modi government as well as Geete’s heavy industries portfolio, which it considered light weight. Geete, a sixth-time MP from Raigad in Konkan, had taken charge of the ministry after a delay of several days.

In the NDA government in 1999 headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Sena had three Cabinet Ministers despite having fewer MPs. In 2002, it even bagged the coveted post of Lok Sabha speaker for Senior leader Manohar Joshi.