Asks his party Ministers to steer clear of scams
Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) president Sharad Pawar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for nearly two hours on Saturday at the government guest house and assured him of complete cooperation from the alliance partner in the State government.
This is a follow up to the meeting Mr. Pawar had called on Friday to talk to the new NCP Ministers who were inducted into the cabinet and ask them to ensure that the government ran smoothly. The NCP sources said Mr. Pawar spent a lot of time discussing with Mr. Chavan on various aspects of the government including the changes in the bureaucracy that were to be effected specially regarding the Home Department which is with the NCP.
The Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar is due for retirement this month end and she is likely to be replaced by senior bureaucrat Umesh kumar Sarangi. Mr. Chavan it is learnt wanted to know about governing the State from a senior politician and former Chief Minister Mr. Pawar and understand the nuances. Mr. Pawar emphasised that he did not care for one-upmanship in the government and he wanted it to run smoothly. He assured Mr. Chavan of complete cooperation from the NCP. In the aftermath of Friday's meeting with NCP Ministers, this meeting with the Chief Minister assumes significance.
Running the government smoothly without corruption and scams seems to be the focus. The NCP sources said, Mr. Pawar calling on Mr. Chavan was a matter of protocol. However, the two discussed matters related to the governance of the State and a whole lot of issues that were likely to be a thorn between the two coalition partners.
Mr. Pawar wanted a good balance between the two parties and ensure the State got rid of the stigma of corruption that it is tainted with after the Adarsh scam. On Friday he had already warned his Ministers of not being involved in corruption and to ensure clean governance.
In the meeting on Friday, Mr. Pawar told the NCP Ministers to steer clear of scams and be on good terms with the new Chief Minister. The Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has already tried to show Mr. Chavan who is the boss by holding meetings on the same subjects that he has called and issuing tough directions. Mr. Sharad Pawar's meeting with his Ministers and the Chief Minister is a clear indication that he wants to play ball and not upset matters in the coalition in Maharashtra.
There is speculation that Mr. Ajit Pawar is trying to take over the reigns of power and show that he is a “super Chief Minister”. In the light of the intervention of the senior Mr. Pawar, the new Deputy Chief Minister has been virtually told to cooperate and ensure a smooth running of the government.