Trust deficit is growing among three ruling partners -- Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress despite their repeated statements that the government is strong, stable and will complete five years. Although three parties have joined hands to form the government based on a common minimum programme with a sole aim of keeping BJP out of power, they are busy in pursuing their respective agendas.
Shiv Sena-led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been hogging the limelight for leading the state in combating the coronavirus pandemic. However, NCP and Congress expect the CM to devote time for review of departments held by them in a bid to improve the governance and tighten the grip over the administration. However, NCP and Congress want CM not to heavily rely on the bureaucrats but make them party in decision making.
The outburst by NCP Minister Jayant Patil, who holds the water resources department, against the Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte was a case in point where the former was critical about the time taken by the bureaucrats in clearing proposals already cleared by the state cabinet. Patil, who had held key departments including finance, home and rural development, aggressively made a strong case for speedy decision making by proper evaluation. Patil’s aggressive posture paid off as the file pertaining to 70 irrigation projects was ultimately cleared. But NCP is insisting that Thackeray should pay personal attention to periodical department reviews and putting project development on fast track.
On the other hand, the Congress continues to be unhappy for not getting its due in decision making and functioning of the government. State unit chief Nana Patole reminded both Shiv Sena and NCP that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was a reality only after the Congress decided to join it. His message was strong and clear that the party should not be taken for a ride.
Congress minister Nitin Raut has targeted Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar over the government notification issued in the first week of May cancelling 33% reservation in promotion for the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT)and Special Backward Classes (SBC) categories. Raut insisted that it should be withdrawn and a status quo be maintained. Raut is furious that the notification has not been issued but the issue has been referred to the law and judiciary department to seek its opinion.
Congress has reminded NCP and Shiv Sena that the three parties in the CMP have agreed to provide funds for backward classes and OBCs and make all efforts for their welfare. Moreover, Congress fumed over the decision to transfer the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) to the Planning Department held by DCM Pawar from the Minister of OBC and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar.
As far as Shiv Sena is concerned, the party ministers internally are not happy for lack of adequate funds to their respective departments by the finance department held by DCM Pawar.
Against this backdrop, senior ministers from three parties press the need for regular meetings of the coordination committee to further build up the trust and bondage which will ultimately strengthen the government’s stability.