State Congress president Manikrao Thakre has been mincing no words while attacking the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), but he insists that his NCP counterpart, Madhukar Pichad, had promised him that the party would not target his party while discussing the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank controversy at its state executive meeting on Thursday.
The NCP members, at the meeting held at the YB Chavan Centre in Nariman Point, slammed its state ally, with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar leading the attack.
Pawar named the leaders (Amrish Patel and Shekhar Shende) and said three former chief ministers (all Congress leaders) were associated with the cooperatives that did not repay the bank.
Reacting to Pawar’s attack Thakre told HT: “I expected them not to react in such a manner because Mr Pichad promised me they would not discuss the issue.”
Thakre is said to have arrived at an understanding with Pichad and home minister RR Patil, whom he met on Wednesday to diffuse the tension between the two allies. Patil, too, did not spare the Congress at the conclave.
Thakre said the bank should run smoothly in the future. “All problems should be rectified and the defaulters — from all parties — must be made to pay. The government should also be asked to pay the dues,” he said, adding that chief minister CM Prithviraj Chavan and Pawar should thrash out the differences.
State Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil said the party would seek information from the leaders Pawar named.
Former minister and Congress legislator Amrish Patel said: “My weaving mill doesn’t have any dues pending since 2004.
Ours is a profit-making unit that offers the highest rates to cotton farmers,” he said. Shekhar Shende, son of former Congress minister Pramod Shende, said his weaving mill in Wardha was paying its interest regularly.