The Nationalist Congress Party has raised issues of governance and decision-making with the Congress leadership and demanded that at least a discussion be initiated on food security, irrigation, export import policy and key appointments.

Party sources said the NCP was upset with the United Progressive Alliance on food security allocations, which top the agriculture budget. It had demanded that the budget for irrigation be raised to implement the existing projects in not only Maharashtra but the rest of the country. Without increasing the agriculture budget, there was little point in providing money for food security, the NCP felt.

Moreover, the UPA never consulted the NCP on key appointments of either Governors or State boards or Rajya Sabha nominees, the sources said.

The UPA was functioning without taking its allies into confidence and the NCP felt that at least a debate should be initiated on these key issues before raising them in the Union Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra NCP president Madhukar Pichad raised several points of contention with the Congress. The NCP is clearly unhappy with the functioning of the State government and demanded better coordination and governance as it has sought at the Centre as well. NCP Ministers Sunil Tatkare (Water Resources) and Chhagan Bhujbal (Public Works) are under fire from the Opposition BJP for scams in awarding contracts, land-grabbing and construction. While the party has defended their integrity, the issue of decision-making within Maharashtra remains contentious.

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