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The failure of the Congress to appoint political heads of various statutory corporations and boards in Maharashtra for many years now has upset a large section in the state unit and could prove counter-productive for the party in the coming assembly polls.
The posts are generally filled by the party in power to keep leaders of different factions in “good humour” and make them important stakeholders in governance.
This section is also up in arms against Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan over his “style of functioning” and criticised him for “slow decision making” on development issues such as infra projects, toll, agriculture and industrial policies.
“Chavan cannot take decisions. He is more concerned about his clean image,” a state Congress leader said. “He had promised to fill up the vacancies in corporations and boards but has failed on that front too.”
The plum chairmanships of state-run corporations and boards, including the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, have been equally divided by the ruling alliance partners Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). As per the agreement between both parties, a corporation or board headed by a Congress leader will have a NCP deputy and vice-versa.
Under the Congress quota, there are 43 corporations and boards which are headless and the party has not been able to fill 28 other vacancies which have been accorded ministerial status by the state government.
On the other hand, the NCP has appointed its people in 64 such posts and by default are heading those corporations that fall under the Congress quota. Congress sources attributed “in-decision” on part of the party leadership on such appointments as one of the reasons for “increasing and widespread factionalism” in the state.