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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 02, 2012
The Congress has adopted an aggressive stance against former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar for his tirade against the party. It has warned the NCP leader against criticism, and has threatened to counter the allegations leveled by Pawar.

State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, through the media, told Pawar that he should not cross his limits when speaking from a public platform. In a veiled attack on Sunday, Pawar alleged that the Congress and CM Prithviraj Chavan were behind the conspiracy that led to his resignation last week.

On Monday, Pawar denied that he had attacked the Congress, but went on to flay the CM's style of functioning and the latter's alleged efforts to maintain his 'Mr Clean' image.

In reply to Pawar's demand for a white paper on irrigation projects, Thakre reiterated that the water resources department was responsible for it. "Pawar had been the water resources minister and I expect him to help the department in preparing the white paper." Chavan and Thakre are expected to bring up Pawar's tirade in the alliance partners' monthly co-ordination meeting.

Chavan did not comment on Pawar's remarks. The CM attended various functions in Pune but did not say anything about the friction between the Congress and NCP. However, when asked about the NCP's objection to the white paper being put out only by the irrigation department, the CM said the decision had been taken after consulting NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and party leaders Praful Patel and Ajit Pawar.