Ripples likely in state

Among the issues NCP chief Sharad Pawar reportedly raised with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at their meeting Friday was the “poor treatment” given to his party’s ministers by the Prithviraj Chavan government in Maharashtra.

Written by Kavitha Iyer | Mumbai | Published:July 21, 2012 2:50 am

Among the issues NCP chief Sharad Pawar reportedly raised with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at their meeting Friday was the “poor treatment” given to his party’s ministers by the Prithviraj Chavan government in Maharashtra.

Allies,NCP and Congress have been bickering in the state for the past two years and months have passed without a decision on several issues raised by NCP MLAs,including some real estate and urban development projects in Pune region and regularisation of encroachments in Mumbai’s far suburbs,say party MLAs.

The latest provocation reportedly was Chavan announcing a white paper on the NCP-controlled Irrigation department following allegations that irrigated area in the state had grown by only 0.1 per cent in a decade during which over Rs 50,000 crore had been spent on dam projects.

Chavan has also reportedly refused to come to the aid of NCP’s PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal following allegations of corruption in construction of the Maharashtra Sadan building in New Delhi.

Pawar’s nephew and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar also hinted at a deep rift between the allies in the state.

An NCP legislator has threatened to collect signatures of party MLAs against Chavan’s style of functioning.

Pawar is likely to meet ministers and senior legislators in Mumbai on Saturday.

An NCP minister said the party and the Congress would remain allies in Maharashtra government but “there will naturally be repercussions….”

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