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NCP warns Cong, to decide on ties by Thursday

Jul 24, 2012 02:19 PM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: The Nationalist Congress Party on Tuesday said that it will take its final decision on its ties with the Congress by Thursday morning.

"If we don't attend Cabinet meet on Thursday, then there is no turning back," said party sources.

The Maharashtra unit of the NCP has conveyed to its central leadership that if the Centre walks out, the state coalition would be put in jeopardy.

The NCP-Congress stand-off has Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at its centre. Chavan has reportedly initiated probe into scams allegedly involving certain NCP leaders including NCP chief Sharad Pawar's nephew, Ajit Pawar.

Chavan has refused to back down and the Congress too has refused to give in to Pawar's demands of reining in the CM.

Chavan faces more trouble

Forty-three Congress MLAs in Maharashtra on Tuesday wrote to state party chief Manickrao Thakre criticising Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's style of functioning and urging him to ask the leader to change it.

CNN-IBN accessed the letter which was signed by MLAs mostly close to Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh.

The letter stated, "There is anger among our constituents over the lack of progress on several projects."

It further rued the lack of progress on 14 projects/policy initiatives including irrigation, health and education.

The MLAs are also believed to have warned that if the situation continued, the Congress-NCP coalition would fare badly in the next elections.

When asked, Thakre said he did not receive any "complaint letter" from the MLAs, and that the MLAs stood united behind Chavan. He, however, said that he received a letter from the MLAs who wanted Chavan to pay attention to some projects.

The Maharashtra CM is already facing ally trouble with the NCP lashing out at him for not backing up its ministers who are accused in scams.

Chavan had promised a White Paper on scams in irrigation projects in the state. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also Sharad Pawar's nephew, is embroiled in it as he was the irrigation minister for many years.

Sunil Tatkare, the present irrigation minister from the NCP, is under the scanner as well.

Adding pressure to his warnings of quitting from the Cabinet if Chavan was not reined in, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday even skipped the UPA's dinner meet.

The Congress, however, remains unwilling to accommodate his demand.

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