Did NCP just show the mirror to CM Thackeray?Updated: Jul 09, 2020 00:19 IST
The friction between the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), ruling partners in the state, seemed to have ended on Wednesday, as five Sena corporators from Parner town in Ahmednagar, who had joined the NCP, returned to the party.
The development came after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy CM Ajit Pawar had a telephonic conversation in front of all corporators at the latter’s residence on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening, both the leaders also had a two-hour-long meeting at the mayor’s bungalow at Dadar, the proposed site for Bal Thackeray memorial. The corporators went to Matoshree, Thackeray’s residence in Bandra, and re-joined the party in the presence of the CM on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier, they had joined the NCP in the presence of Ajit Pawar in Baramati on Saturday.
The transfer of 10 deputy commissioners of police (DCP) in Mumbai and poaching of Sena corporators by NCP had angered Thackeray, who heads the Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra. “It is not like our ministers were unaware of the consequences of the two moves on the coalition government, but it was done to point out that the chief minister should take all parties together. If he takes unilateral decisions while running the government, we can do so too and then there will be free for all,” said a top NCP functionary, wishing not to be named.
What was the NCP upset with Thackeray?
NCP leaders said the discontent among ruling partners was brewing for over two months over several transfers of senior officials such as municipal commissioners and collectors by the chief minister’s office and that too without keeping in loop the guardian ministers of the district. Not only the NCP, but Congress ministers and legislators, too, were unhappy. “The ministers were upset as they were unaware about what was going on in their own districts,” he said.
The CM was very upset after Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh decided to transfer the 10 DCPs. Although Singh has the transfer powers, the Sena claimed the norm of consulting the CM was not followed. The home department is with the NCP and Singh had reportedly kept home minister Anil Deshmukh in the loop. Thackeray has not only stayed the transfers, but also directed the police officers to resume work in their original positions.
When the issue was raised by the chief minister in his meeting with the NCP leadership on Monday evening, the latter pointed out all transfers made by the CMO in the last two months without informing the ministers concerned, said an NCP insider.
On May 29, Solapur municipal commissioner Deepak Taware was transferred and guardian minister Dattatray Bharne wasn’t informed about it. Earlier, Parbhani municipal commissioner Ramesh Pawar was replaced by Devidas Pawar and guardian minister Nawab Malik did not know about it. This, despite Parbhani municipal corporation being ruled by the NCP, said another NCP leader.
There has been a demand that transfers of all IAS and IPS officers be discussed in the coordination committee of the three parties, while transfer of officers from the rank of deputy collectors and others be made after consulting with the guardian ministers concerned. But the demand was overlooked conveniently, he added. However, all matters concerning the ruling partners have been resolved in the meeting held at Thackeray’s residence, stressed the NCP leader.
Nilesh Lanke, NCP MLA from Parner Assembly constituency, who was leading the corporators to join his party, said the decision was taken as it sends a “wrong signal”. “Ajit dada held a meeting with the corporators and convinced them to return to their original party, as they are in a coalition government,” Lanke said.
The Sena said the corporators returned to the party-fold as Thackeray was upset and the Sena had initiated action against them under the anti-defection law. Anil Desai, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, said, “All administrative decisions taken by the government are in coordination with all ruling partners. Uddhavji wasn’t happy with what had happened. We issued show-cause notices to all corporators asking why action can’t be taken against them under the anti-defection law. Following stern action taken by the party, they decided to come back to the party fold.”