CM stays district development plans in state till guardian ministers are appointed

Published on Jul 05, 2022 11:29 PM IST
Sena members and MLAs loyal to Shinde alleged that the proposed outlay by guardian ministers under MVA favoured constituencies represented by NCP and Congress
Days after taking charge, chief minister Eknath Shinde has stayed plans for district planning and development committees (DPDC) in the state till new guardian ministers are appointed. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Days after taking charge, chief minister Eknath Shinde has stayed plans for district planning and development committees (DPDC) in the state till new guardian ministers are appointed. (HT FILE PHOTO)

PUNE: Days after taking charge, chief minister Eknath Shinde has stayed plans for district planning and development committees (DPDC) in the state till new guardian ministers are appointed. The decision came after the Shiv Sena members and MLAs loyal to Shinde alleged that the proposed outlay decided previously by guardian ministers under the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government favoured constituencies represented by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress legislators.

Sena MLAs like Suhas Kande from Nashik district and former MLA Vijay Shivtare from Purandar in Pune had raised objection to Pune DPDC plan for 2022-23 worth 875 crore.

Taking cognisance of the demand by Kande, Shinde had last week stayed DPDC plan worth 816 crore by contacting the Nashik district collector.

On Monday, the government issued a circular saying new guardian ministers will review the plan and decide if work proposed under the plan is to be continued.

“As the appointments of new guardian ministers are expected in near future, the district planning and development committees are also expected to be reconstituted. Hence, approvals granted after April 1 for DPDC plan 2022-23 under Maharashtra District Planning Committee (planning and work) Act 1998, Section 2, have been stayed,” the circular stated.

NCP leader and former guardian minister Ajit Pawar had held a meeting on June 28 and approved 567 crore plan under DPDC for Nashik district when it had become clear that the MVA government was on the verge of collapse after Shinde rebelled with over 40 MLAs. Kande, who had previously took objection to Bhujbal diverting maximum funds to his constituency of Yeola, requested the CM to stay the plan.

“Multiple times I raised my voice against how money was diverted by Bhujbal to his own constituency at the cost of ignoring ours. We welcome the new step taken by the chief minister,” said Kande.

Bhujbal had refuted the charges saying funds were distributed equally. “I have always said that funds have been distributed equally to all without any partiality. It is CM’s prerogative to take a call on whether to stay the plan or not,” he said three days ago.

In Pune, Shivtare wrote to Shinde last week requesting him to stay the DPDC works in Pune district previously sanctioned by Pawar. Interestingly, the move came a day after Shinde praised Pawar after his appointment as the Opposition leader.

After revolt against the Sena leadership, Shinde and his group’s main grouse had been that the Sena was playing second fiddle to the NCP. Many Sena MLAs alleged that Ajit Pawar, finance minister and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s nephew, favoured regions represented by NCP MLAs.

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