The Congress on Friday was quick to step up rear guard action after reports resurfaced over friction with ally Shiv Sena. Amid reports that senior Congress minister Ashok Chavan, a former chief minister, was upset over not being consulted by the bureaucracy for decisions impacting the public works department (PWD) he heads, state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat ruled out any rift in Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition.
“There is no rift in the coalition. Somebody is deliberately planting misleading reports in the media,” said Thorat, who held a meeting with Chavan to discuss his grievances. “There are certain issues. If these are resolved, the alliance will get stronger. But there is no question of a rift,” he added.
Chavan, when contacted, labelled his grievances as a “minor hiccup.” But he was quick to add that he had run a coalition government in the past and that his experience could be put to use.
In an interview to The Indian Express last month, Chavan had blamed “a section of the bureaucracy for trying to create a rift within the allies”
while also saying that the opinion among senior Congress ministers was that they were not being consulted while taking key decisions. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had later stepped in, discussing the issues raised by the Congress with both Chavan and Thorat.
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