A day after disagreements over the transfer of senior police officials in Mumbai exposed the rift within the Uddhav Thackeray-led Mahavikas Aghadi, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar met at the former’s Bandra residence to defuse the tension between the allies.
In the meeting that lasted for an hour, sources said the two parties tried to iron out their differences over the issue. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who had on Sunday denied any rift between the two sides, was also present, along with another senior NCP minister Jitendra Awhad. Later, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde also joined in.
Speculation of a tussle between the two parties over the issue had intensified on Sunday after transfer orders of 10 deputy commissioners of police, effected by the Mumbai police commissionerate on July 2, were suddenly revoked.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday that the controversy had only highlighted the utter lack of coordination between the three alliance partners.
According to sources, the two sides also discussed protocol to be followed for such transfers henceforth, to avoid a standoff in future. Also on the agenda were the next rounds of police transfers in the city. While Deshmukh and Awhad left midway through the meeting, Pawar and Thackeray continued to discuss other issues. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai also joined later.
On July 2, the Mumbai police commissionerate had transferred 10 DCP rank officers were transferred within its jurisdiction. Clearing the air on why the transfers were done in the middle of a pandemic when the government had put on hold general transfers, a senior official said that two DCP’s going on deputation and requests for transfers due to personal reasons by some other DCP’s in the city had prompted the move.
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