Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Thursday that he was under no pressure from the Congress high command or the NCP,dismissing suggestions that he would back off on issues involving allegations against NCP ministers.
There is no question of my going after anybody, he said at a press conference a day after the end of the monsoon session. The law is taking its own course.
Through the past week,reports suggested that his aggressive stand on corruption allegations against cabinet colleagues was at the centre of the Congress-NCP standoff at the Centre. Having announced a white paper on the NCP-controlled irrigation department following allegations of corruption and cost escalations in dam projects,Chavan had also reportedly refused to support the NCPs PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal following allegations of corruption in the construction contract for the Maharashtra Sadan building in New Delhi.
Chavan,however,appeared to climb down on the assurance of a white paper on irrigation. A white paper is just a name for official communication from the government to the people, he said,adding all he had wanted was a statewide discussion on the future course of the irrigation department in the face of huge cost escalations and delays in dam projects. (Projects worth) Rs 80,000 crore are pending.. How do we prioritise these? My only objective was to have a discussion on these subjects.
On the leak earlier this week of a letter written by disgruntled MLAs,Chavan said the writing of a letter raising development issues could not be called dissidence. He added that department-wise and district-wise meetings regarding these pending issues are being planned to resolve pending problems.
He also downplayed the allegation of poor coordination with the NCP,stating that the two allies could not have fought recent elections together without some coordination. However,there was a need to set up an official and formal coordination system and this coordination committee will now meet regularly, he said.