No senior or junior Cabinet ministers, all are equal: Antony

Senior Congress leader and Defence Minister AK Antony has spoken out in the wake of rift over No 2 in the Union Cabinet.

Updated: Jul 21, 2012, 16:16 PM IST

Mumbai: In an effort to pacify Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday said that all ministers are equal in the union cabinet.

"There is no senior or junior cabinet ministers ... all are equal," Antony told reporters replying to a question on the sulking United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ally.

The Congress Friday had reached out to NCP after it expressed unhappiness about some aspects of the coalition`s working but the strain in their ties continued with the ally deciding to meet Monday to take a final decision on the issues it has raised.

According to NCP sources, Pawar is unhappy over not been accorded the number two slot in the cabinet, after Pranab Mukherjee`s exit from cabinet.

They said he was also upset over reports that union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, his one-time protege, may be the new leader of the Lok Sabha.

The NCP has nine members in the Lok Sabha and has been in the UPA since 2004.