Congress minister for water conservation and employment guarantee scheme Nitin Raut on Sunday offered to resign,expressing disappointment over getting secondary treatment in the government. The development does not augur well for the Congress-NCP government ahead of the monsoon session.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan held discussions with MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre to resolve the matter as it would give a handy weapon to dissidents within the Congress to make Raut a rallying point to voice displeasure against the government. A senior officer in CMO confirmed,Raut had offered to resign and walked out from the cabinet.
At a cabinet meeting held in the evening,Raut said,If the CM cannot find a way to resolve problems related to our constituencies,why should I remain the cabinet. It is better to resign.
Chavan held a separate meeting with Raut to discuss the projects in Nagpur. Indications are that Raut wants the government to approve the spinning mill project and redevelopment of slums.
Thakre said,I will be holding talks with Raut on Monday morning. We will ensure he does not take the extreme step of resigning. He has been raising some issues related to his constituency with the government. Though Im not fully aware of these,I am confident the CM will find a way to resolve the problem.
He added,Chavan already held talks with Raut but if he is upset,things will be resolved.
Shortly after returning the cabinet meeting late on Sunday,Raut left for an undisclosed location. His close aide confirmed,Raut was upset and offered to resign. However,Chavan has not accepted the resignation.
Several MLAs representing Vidarbha region came in support of Raut. A senior MLA said on condition of anonymity,We are not in the merit of the projects. But if a minister cannot get his work done in cabinet,what about others? We are answerable to the people in our constituencies.
However,sources indicated that Chavan was taking the objective view on the project within the given rules. Rauts rival in the party said,The minister was trying to enhance his political fortunes in the government by such tactics. Recently,he was ticked off by the chief minister for his departments work.