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The other Pawar outraged

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The irrigation scam in Maharashtra

HT reports on high drama in Maharashtra following the resignation of NCP ministers:

The NCP meeting scheduled to discuss the future course of action after Ajit Pawar’s resignation as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra has passed one-line resolution on Wednesday in which the legislators have asked Ajit Pawar to take back his resignation. However, party chief Sharad Pawar will take the final decision in the matter.

The meeting of the NCP Legislature Party was held in Mumbai on Wednesday to discuss the political situation in the aftermath of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s resignation from the Cong-NCP alliance government in Maharashtra.

Party sources said several legislators were owing allegiance to 53-year-old Ajit Pawar are firm that the party should quit the government and extend outside support to the Prithviraj Chavan-led ministry.

The simmering tensions in the 13-year-old coalition came to the fore on Tuesday with the resignation of Ajit, 53-year-old nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, following reports of scam to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees in irrigation projects during his tenure as Water Resources minister between 1999 and 2009.

20 other NCP ministers have sent their resignations to state party chief Madhukar Pichad with a demand that the party should quit the coalition.

Senior NCP leaders, including party chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, have said the resignations tendered by all party ministers, submitted to state unit chief Madhukar Pichad yesterday, were a result of being “swayed by emotions” in support of Ajit Pawar.

The NCP has 62 members and the Congress 82 in the 274 member legislature. Of the main opposition parties, the BJP has 47 members and the Shiv Sena 45. If the government falls, then it is unlikely that another government can be formed. However, this is unlikely to be the reasoning in Ajit Pawar’s mind.

The NCP has recently been a staunch ally of the Congress at the center. The head of the party, Sharad Pawar, does not seem inclined to play a different tune in the state. There have been tussles between the two Pawars before, and the elder Pawar has always had an edge. Since Ajit Pawar knows all this, his move seems to be one of desperation. Perhaps he is so threatened by the investigation into the irrigation scam that he is willing to split the NCP. Perhaps this is also an old calculation coming to fruition: breaking the NCP to gain an upper hand against his uncle, and then using this as a bargaining chip with the Congress.

But is Sharad Pawar willing to sacrifice his newphew to what ever calculations has kept him within the UPA?

The situation continues to develop, as IE informs:

Maharashtra’ s NCP MLAs Wednesday unanimously urged Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to withdraw his resignation and also asked party chief Sharad Pawar to talk to all the legislators and address the crisis arising out of Ajit’s sudden decision to put in his papers.

“A resolution was adopted requesting (Ajit) Pawar to take back his resignation. We have asked Pawar senior to talk to the MLAs and sought his time to discuss the matter. It was decided there would be no political discussion,” Madhukar Pichad, state NCP president, said after a meeting of the MLAs.

28 September, 2012

Z News reports:

The stalemate over Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s resignation ended on Friday with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar deciding to ask Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to accept it.

The decision was taken after Sharad Pawar met Ajit Pawar at the residence of Union Heavy Industries Minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel.

The Union Agriculture Minister, however, turned down the resignations tendered by 19 other Nationalist Congress Party ministers. They will resume their duties as usual from Sturday, he added.

The resignation of MLAs was being seen as a show of strength by Ajit that he had the backing of the entire legislature party.

Ajit Pawar was, however, not present when the NCP boss was speaking to the media.

29 September, 2012

Z News reports:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday said the resignation of his deputy Ajit Pawar from the state cabinet will not affect the Congress-NCP ties.

“I met Sharad Pawar, Ajit and Praful Patel last night to discuss the issue. The government will work effectively and there will be proper coordination in the government and between both the parties. Congress-NCP ties will remain strong,” Chavan said.

He said the state will not have a deputy Chief Minister.

7 December, 2012

Judgments about innocence come very quickly in Indian politics, as HT reports:

Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday inducted back into the state cabinet, two months after he resigned from the post in the wake of the irrigation scam. Though the NCP leader’s comeback was imminent after the white paper on irrigation was accepted by the state and published, the decision to bring him back into the cabinet just four days before the assembly winter session came as dramatically as his resignation.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

One Response

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  1. […] Today reports and allegation against Nitin Gadkari concerning Maharashtra’s irrigation scam: IAC activist Anjali Damania, who has alleged that BJP president Nitin Gadkari had tried to thwart […]

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