Newly sworn in Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan ran into coalition trouble on Tuesday as he was involved in a game of one-upmanship against his deputy and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar. In contention was the policy decision on relief to be provided to farmers whose standing crops have suffered heavily due to unseasonal rains.
Chavan, who arrived from New Delhi on Tuesday, was also scheduled to review the law and order situation in view of Bakri Id on Wednesday. But, before Chavan met the bureaucrats and police officers concerned, Pawar, who belongs to the NCP, discussed the agenda that was set for CM’s meetings earlier in the day.
Pawar briefed the media as well and then left immediately for Pandharpur on an official visit. Late in the evening, Chavan met the same set of officials that Pawar had summoned. A visibly upset chief minister played the matter down.
Chavan said that every political worker had a right to seek information of current issues. "This is democracy and one may have his freedom to seek information," said the CM.
This was the second time in four days that Chavan and Pawar have been in a similar situation. On last Thursday, when Chavan and Pawar met bureaucrats after they were sworn in, the NCP leader, unlike the CM, did not waste time in exchanging pleasantries with the officers.
He warned the bureaucrats against underperformance and asked them to provide solutions. The manner is which Pawar conducted himself is reported to have left Chavan bewildered, as it was his first meeting with the state’s top bureaucrats, many of who are still unknown to him.