Miffed NCP may put pressure on government
With deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar not mincing words about the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to appoint an administrator for the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, it is only a matter of time before the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) strikes at its ruling partner.mumbai Updated: May 12, 2011 01:19 IST
With deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar not mincing words about the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to appoint an administrator for the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, it is only a matter of time before the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) strikes at its ruling partner.
The bank — the principal funding agency for all cooperatives — has been dominated by the NCP for over a decade.
With the executive meeting scheduled for Thursday, it remains to be seen whether the NCP will go on a major offensive or bid for time. There is also a possibility of the party ministers putting pressure on the Congress by threatening to quit the government.
Although the party claimed that Thursday’s meeting was called to discuss the agenda for the party’s 12th Foundation Day celebration on June 10, the issue of the bank is bound to come up for discussion. "The agenda is about our foundation day celebrations,” said party spokesman Prakash Binsale.
Union Agriculture minister and party chief Sharad Pawar is expected to give the meeting a miss.
The top leadership has instructed party members to remain mum on the issue. However, Pawar is likely to speak before the executive body in the afternoon. He is also expected to meet chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on the issue.
Sources in the party said that in a bid to mount pressure on Congress, ministers may state their willingness to resign and hence pull the rug from under the government.
“Pawar will pressurise the government to do a rethink or go soft on the action against the bank. There is no threat to the coalition, but the party does want to signal that it will not tolerate further attacks on the NCP,” said a senior functionary.
If the Congress does not oblige, the government is likely to see some rocky days ahead. The NCP holds the most important portfolios in the government, including finance, home, water resources, power and public works and may use this to gain an upper hand in the situation.