Pawar,Chavan meet today amidst growing Congress-NCP conflict

Pawar,Chavan meet today amidst growing Congress-NCP conflict

Congress feels NCP is trying to unsettle CM,NCP says CM has more trust in bureaucrats than in coalition partner.

NCP president Sharad Pawar and CM Prithviraj Chavan will discuss Friday coalition problems that have adversely affected administrative work in the state.

Alleged failure of Chavan to convene a coordination committee meeting to resolve differences between the alliance partners has not gone down well with NCP. Senior NCP leaders have complained to top party leadership that Congress is not taking them into confidence on critical issues concerning the state. They feel “Chavan has more trust in bureaucrats than in NCP ministers”.

The Chavan decision to declare end of LBT protest after a couple of meetings with Congress MLAs/MPs Thursday is also being seen as a step to score over NCP,especially after Pawar had said last week he would hold a meeting with Chavan Friday to discuss the issue. NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said,“State unit chief Madhukar Pichad and deputy CM Ajit Pawar wrote to CM three weeks ago to convene a coordination committee meeting to discuss administrative and political issues. There has been no response from the Congress leadership or CM.”

Senior Congress ministers countered claiming NCP was playing games instead of helping. A senior cabinet minister said,“NCP is responsible for spoiling the relationship. Ajit Pawar publicly criticised CM for higher Mhada housing prices. This was followed by severe criticism by minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir who said the high prices could not be justified and should be reviewed. The same week,an NCP spokesperson slammed Chavan for delay in several infrastructure projects in Mumbai.”


MPCC general secretary Mahadeo Shelar said,“Chavan can never be faulted for ignoring issues of public welfare. He took the initiative to increase the housing stock through Mhada,instead of handing over land for a premium.

“For the last couple of months Chavan has dedicated the state administration to mitigate the drought situation. And people are acknowledging his efforts.”

NCP begs to differ. The Congress decision to deny release of Rs 1,500 crore from the contingency fund to pay allowances to striking teachers has upset the party. Ajit Pawar and minister for higher and technical education Rajesh Tope felt it was an attempt to compound problems,while a section in NCP felt this was to undermine Sharad Pawar. After all,it was a suggestion of Pawar Senior that the state fund teachers and the Centre would compensate it. Another issue that has irked NCP is the decision of CM to bring to cabinet a proposal seeking prosecution of minister for medical education Vijaykumar Gavit.

Malik said,“If the matter relates to Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana,there are several Congress leaders who have availed the same benefits as Gavit.”

NCP leaders said,“There is a systematic attempt to highlight NCP as a corrupt party. Why has CM not pressed for prosecution of Congress ministers under the scanner of CBI and the anti-corruption bureau?”

Yavatmal worry

Congress members are worried NCP workers may not extend full support to Nandini Parvekar in the June 2 Yavatmal bypoll. However,senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal has appealed to his party to display unity and support the Congress candidate. He feels Congress needs to set its house in order before blaming NCP workers in Yavatmal.