Maharashtra Dy CM Ajit Pawar denies rift with Jayant Patil, Chief Secretary

Mumbai: Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar broke his silence over the tiff between the Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil and Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte on delays 0in clearing files pertaining to the Water Resources Department. He categorically denied any such controversy between the two saying that it is a part of the administration and he and Patil have been in the government for many years.

Patil at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday targeted the Chief Secretary for delays in the decisions relating to his department. Patil was furious over the files pertaining to the decisions approved by the cabinet were being sent back to the finance department or a committee comprising various departments for further action. Patil complained to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that it was delaying the project implementation.

Patil had referred to three irrigation projects where the department two months ago had sought the final approval for deepening and cleaning of canals. However, he claimed the file has been moving from one department to another and the department could not start the work as the monsoon will start in June.

Further, Patil had sought the approval of the completion of 70 irrigation projects which were incomplete for a long time. However, there has been no movement as the file is still under discussion.

Patil declined to comment saying that he will not speak about what was discussed in the cabinet.

Pawar reiterated that Patil has been a seasoned politician and an administrator who has handled various departments including, finance, rural development and home. Now he is holding the water resources department. ‘’Patil is not hot-tempered like me. He knows how the administration functions and the decision-making process,’’ he noted.

Pawar downplayed reports relating to the dispute between Patil and the Chief Secretary. ‘’There is no truth in it. This is part of the administration,’’ he noted.

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