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Bengal BJP eyes slot in Modi ministry, while Sena eyes more

Calcutta, May 28 (PTI): The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, buoyed by its stellar show in the Lok Sabha elections, on Wednesday expressed the hope that the state would find a place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ministry when it is expanded.

”We are hopeful that in the next ministry expansion, there will be a representation from Bengal…. But at the end of the day who will be inducted or not is the prerogative of the Prime Minister. He will take the final call,” Siddharth Nath Singh, the BJP leader in charge of the state, told PTI here.

State BJP president Rahul Sinha also hoped that one of the two BJP MPs would find a berth in the ministry, saying that it would help the party indirectly to expand its base in the state.

A backbencher in state politics, the BJP has signalled its arrival in a big way winning the two prestigious seats of Darjeeling and Asansol. The party also emerged second in three other seats with large vote shares.

Riding the pro-Narendra Modi sentiment, the BJP has secured a vote share of 17 per cent in West Bengal, its best-ever.

In Delhi, Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete, who took charge of heavy industries & public enterprises ministry on Wednesday, said his party would get a “good ministry” in the expansion.

He said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has had a ”satisfactory” discussion with Prime Minister Modi regarding the portfolio allocation.

Geete sought to play down the reports that Shiv Sena, the oldest ally of the BJP, was unhappy over being given only one ministerial berth and that too heavy industries portfolio.

”This (that I was unhappy) is not true. However, since the party I come from, Shiv Sena, is connected to the people, party chief Uddhav Thackeray expected me to be given a ministry which is connected to the people,” Geete told reporters here.

The Shiv Sena has secured as many as 18 seats in the Lok Sabha, making it the second largest party in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.