Chavan has often been slammed by NCP, besides a section in his own party, for "tardy" decision-making.. (File/PTI)
Already facing flak from sulking ally NCP, Maharashtra Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan has now come under "friendly" fire from
Congress MLAs with over 40 of them writing to the state party chief voicing
The Congress MLAs have written to PCC chief Manikrao Thakre
seeking his intervention to settle "issues" ranging from lack of
clearances for infrastructure projects to delay in filling administrative posts
and release of additional grants for development work in their constituencies.
The letter dated July 19, according to party sources, has
also been marked to AICC in-charge of Maharashtra Mohan Prakash, according to
an MLA who did not want to be named.
Incidentally, the letter was issued the day when NCP supremo
Sharad Pawar skipped the meeting of the Union Cabinet, triggering the ongoing
stand-off with Congress and creating a crisis of sorts for the ruling UPA.
Chavan has often been slammed by NCP, besides a section in
his own party, for "tardy" decision-making.
Thakre, however, downplayed the issue which was being dubbed
as a rebellion against the Chief Minister.
"No MLA has complained to me about the functioning of
the Chief Minister. Let it be clear, nobody is against the Chief Minister.
"The letter I have got pertains to problems the MLAs
are facing in their constituencies. I have spoken to the CM about it and their
work will be done," Thakre told reporters.
He also rubbished reports that as many as 62 of the 82
Congress MLAs have accused Chavan of being indecisive and ignoring party
Vijay Wadettiwar, party MLA from Chemur in Vidharbha, while
admitting that the MLAs had highlighted "several issues" faced by
them in their constituencies, said they had never sought removal of Chavan as
"There is immense angst among people as their problems
have not yet been resolved. When legislators are visiting their constituencies,
they have to face wrath of the people," the MLAs mostly belonging to
Vidarbha and Marathwada regions said in the letter.
They requested Thakre to discuss the issue with party
leaders and convene a meeting with Chavan soon and invite them for the meeting.
The legislators have also demanded strengthening of statutory
development boards, boosting irrigation projects in the two regions, paying
attention to farmers' demands like food processing units and issues pertaining
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, whose party
has opened a front against Congress in Maharashtra by flagging the issue of
"poor coordination", parried questions by media on this development.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, to whom some of the MLAs
who have written to Thakre owe allegiance, also chose to remain silent and did
not answer reporters' queries.
Several supporters of Ashok Chavan had walked out of a
meeting of the Congress legislature party on July 9 protesting state government
and party leadership's "failure to counter false propaganda" against
the former Chief Minister in the Adarsh scam.
Chavan's supporters, according to those present in the
meeting, pointed out to the party brass as to how NCP had stood firmly behind
its minister Sunil Tatkare despite allegations of amassing assets
disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Meanwhile, amid reports that he has been summoned to Delhi,
Prithviraj Chavan has said he would be going there to attend the swearing-in
ceremony of Pranab Mukherjee as the 13th President tomorrow.
Chavan had on Saturday cancelled his visit to Delhi. He had
gone to Nagpur to inaugurate the National Institute of Intellectual Property
Management and was scheduled to leave for Delhi from there in the afternoon.
However, instead of going to Delhi, he had flown back to