CM turns focus on power sector,reaches out to Oppn

Move being seen as attempt to placate Opposition members following his remarks on irrigation scam probe

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: October 6, 2013 2:05 am

Setting aside protocol,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday landed at leader of the Opposition in the Assembly,Eknath Khadse’s residence to discuss issues of the power sector.

Khadse was supposed to lead a delegation comprising representatives of small-scale industries,agriculture and consumer forums to Mantralaya to discuss with the CM issues of steep hike in tariff and financial irregularities in the power sector.

Chavan,however,surprised everybody when he showed up at Khadse’s residence,where he held an hour-and-a-half-long meeting with the delegates.

The meeting assumes significance as the power portfolio is held by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Pawar had earlier dismissed the delegates when they approached him. Also,sources in CMO said Chavan wanted to placate the opposition,which has scaled its attack against him “for non-action in the irrigation scam”.

Chavan assured the Opposition members that he would take immediate steps to streamline the power sector. Acknowledging that hike in tariff could not be at the cost of industrial,agriculture and employment growth,the CM promised to look into the functioning of MSEB and MERC to tackle complaints .

Khadse said,“I had an appointment with Chavan. I wanted to discuss with him issues related to the power sector,rental and SRA schemes as well as the irrigation scam. He called to say he had been wanting to see me as I was unwell last month.” Both Chavan and Khadse,however,said there was nothing political about the meeting.

The Opposition members told Chavan that they felt let down by him regarding the irrigation scam probe. Khadse said,“I asked him if the irrigation scam was a closed chapter as he has made it clear that the guilty would not be punished.”

Chavan said,“The chapter is not closed. Anybody found guilty will be punished.”

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