Team Anna's allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on allocation of coal blocks were “irresponsible” and made without any substantive evidence, said Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The Nationalist Congress Party chief was speaking after the party's executive meeting here on Saturday.

The meeting discussed organisational strategies with an eye on the 2014 parliamentary and Assembly elections.

While senior NCP leaders directed jibes against the ally, the Congress, Mr. Pawar said: “There are ups and downs in every alliance. We need this [Congress-NCP coalition in Maharashtra] to keep communal forces [the BJP-Shiv Sena] at bay.”

Mr. Pawar termed Maharashtra losing business to neighbouring States as unfortunate and blamed it on the State government's faulty policy.

He cited examples of Mahindra and Mahindra's decision to defer further investment in the State and Maruti's decision to invest in Gujarat in this context.

Senior NCP leaders R.R. Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal took pot shots at the BJP, stating it was riven with factionalism.

In the wake of the drought plaguing large areas of the State, a resolution, emphasised by Mr. Pawar himself, was passed to the effect that a party Minister should tour the affected areas of Vidarbha and Marathwada once a month. This was to expand the party base as also address the problems of the people.

The move assumes significance given the bickering between the Congress and the NCP over the latter's handling of the Irrigation department, which has remained in the NCP's possession since 1999.

The former Minister, Madhukar Pichad, was unanimously re-elected State party president for a second term, extending his tenure till the 2014 Assembly elections.