There are many leaders of ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ who have gone vocal in telling media sources about developing clashes between NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. Pawar is very much unhappy with Thackeray. Since few days there has been a constant buzz in media, so to put pause to these speculations Sharad Pawar held a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the current challenges triggered by COVID-19 crisis and suggested ways to boost the state’s economy by introducing a policy of “encouraging new incentives” for industry growth and relaxing some conditions of lockdown. During the meeting, Sharad Pawar gave some suggestions to the Chief Minister on various important issues related to transport, education, agriculture, and industry. He said an action plan is needed on how to accommodate those in the various industries for whom new employment opportunities have been created in the state and suggested that to attract new investment in the state, it seems necessary to introduce a policy of encouraging new incentives for industries growth. Pawar was very proficient and to the point. Earlier Uddhav’s government has emphasized on starting industries in the state by relaxing some conditions of the ongoing lockdown. But these steps are not enough. Factories are not in a position to function as workers withing the state and outside the state have migrated to their villages. Pawar pressed the point to plan how migrants can be brought back to city. The NCP chief further stressed that the situation in the state will have to be restored by relaxing some conditions of lockdown and the government shall make some arrangements to open shops, offices and private sector establishments in a regularized and phased manner. In order to increase imports, exports and inland shipping, consultations should be held with businessmen, entrepreneurs and expert officials in the field. He further called for setting up a study group or committee to ensure students, teachers and institutes do not suffer and there is no disruption in imparting education. Pawar told Uddhav to highlight on increasing attendance of ministers and officials in offices as this step will create public confidence that the situation in the state is returning to normal. Appropriate instructions should be issued to the ministers and officials to be present in their office. He expressed concerns towards the disarray of transportation service and observed that there is a need to take appropriate steps to gradually restore road transport within the state, as well as plan for the resumption of air and rail services. He asserted on undertaking a mass awareness program to educate people on maintaining cleanliness and social distancing. Pawar is very much upset on Maharashtra’s suffering during the COVID-19 lockdown. Somewhere he feels Uddhav has not done enough for the state when it comes to good governance.
The visible difference between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar came to surface when he expressed dissatisfaction over his alliance government in the State of Maharashtra’s decision to give consent to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Elgar Parishad case, reports the Times of India. Expressing displeasure over Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray’s nod to handing over of the case to the NIA, Pawar has repeatedly demanded that a special investigation team headed by a senior officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) be appointed to investigate into the complaints against police and home department officers in connection with the Elgar Parishad case. Meanwhile, disbelieving Pawar’s claim that the Union Government’s move to take over the investigation was not proper, Maharashtra State’s law and judiciary department has said that it was within the powers of the Union Government to take over the case. In relations to Pawar’s comment, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said, “The CM must have taken the decision in the larger interest of Maharashtra, one should not look for any political point. The CM must have applied his conscience while taking the decision. The alliance government headed by Uddhav Thackeray has agreed to transfer the 2018 Elgar Parishad case to the NIA complying with a January 25 decision of the Centre. Pawar who played a crucial role in bringing the Congress on board to form an alliance with the Shiv Sena is now regretting his decision.
Interestingly, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government took charge, Sharad Pawar had written a letter to CM Uddhav, demanding a probe by a SIT. He alleged that the previous BJP-led government abused its power to book activists and called the arrests of activists a conspiracy. Amid the clashes between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra’s Deputy CM Ajit Pawar stated that, ‘No fortune teller can predict how long the Uddhav Thackeray government will last’, while addressing reporters in Mumbai. Ajit Pawar, who had previously jumped ship to form an unsuccessful BJP-NCP government, added that things will run smoothly till it runs according to the will of Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, and Uddhav Thackeray. Dismissing other statements on its crumbling alliance, he said no other statements apart from the three chiefs should be considered. But on the other hand, certain Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders are so restless that they are reaching out to their own media people and expressing their grievances under the condition of anonymity. A Shiv Sena veteran gave statement that, ‘If Cong-NCP don’t behave, Uddhav will resign’, to which a Congress neta revealed his unhappiness over the Thackeray-Pawar clashes. Since there is no restrain from these leaders itself in terms of sharing the internal disdain to outsiders and media, their revelations itself may result in breaking of this ruling parties alliance in future. Earlier, Thackeray challenged the BJP to pull down the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government if they can and the BJP had claimed that Maharashtra government will collapse before completing its tenure of five years owing to infighting. Thackeray and Pawar have locked horns over several issues. There has been discontent among the Sena-NCP-Congress after the expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet as there is a feeling in the Sena camp that the NCP has walked away with not only the highest number of portfolios but also the most important ones. Sena, for example, had to cede the important Home and Finance portfolio.
Within this political mayhem, one needs to realize that Pawar is a very seasoned politician and was the young buddy of Balasaheb Thackeray who founded Shiv Sena. Maharashtra’s political equations have always changed and amended with Sharad Pawar strategies as he is a veteran in the political arena and over the years has brought huge shift in Maharashtra’s political dynamics. Uddhav might have seen politics being with this father but relatively he is a newbie. This greater opportunity was given to him because Shiv Sena wanted to come into power anyhow and that’s why they ditched the BJP. Also, Congress and NCP wanted to revive their dead stems in state politics and this coalition provided a right opportunity for everyone. But no matter how much they team up or patch up, the fact is that their ideological differences have not changed and still remain the same. Till the time Pawar wishes, this coalition will sustain. The day he gets displeased, there is no future to this alliances governance. The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance was formed after the Sena-BJP ‘Mahayuti’ fell out squabbling over CM post and portfolio sharing. Since then, Shiv Sena which formed a secular coalition has been locking horns over hindutva with Congress, majorly over its hero Savarkar. Amid the growing differences between the allies of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress now, Sharad Pawar is all set to mend his ways once COVID-19 crises settles in state.
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