Even as a political slugfest over the control of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) continues between party president Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, senior leaders of the ruling coalition are set to meet this week to sort out pending issues such as distribution of responsibilities of guardian ministers, cabinet responsibilities and setting the political narrative to favour the ruling National Democratic Party (NDA).
According to a senior leader from the Ajit Pawar-led group of the NCP, a meeting of senior leaders is likely to be held within this week. “Opposition’s INDIA front will meet in Mumbai where their political issues at the national level will be discussed. We, too, have a number of pending issues in Maharashtra that need to be settled soon. Senior leaders from three parties will meet in Mumbai this week to discuss these matters,” he told The Indian Express.
After the rebellion by Ajit against his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on July 2, he along with eight others were sworn in on the same day. The leader said that out of 10 cabinet berths given to the NCP, only nine have been fulfilled. “A decision of the remaining berth will also be taken in that meeting,” he said.
Almost two months after the swearing-in of Ajit and eight others, none of these nine ministers have been given the responsibilities as district guardian ministers. Ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena continue to function like before while NCP ministers are yet to be given the responsibilities. “That issue is also on the agenda of the meeting,” the NCP leader said.
Politically, NCP president Sharad Pawar is touring the state to rebuild his party and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, too, has been making political moves by inducting several new leaders into his party. Congress, the third constituent of the opposition’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), too, will kick-start its state wide Jan Samvad Yatra from September 3 after the meeting of INDIA in Mumbai between August 31 and September 1.
“We have to chalk out our political strategy as well. There has to be unanimous agreement on how to move forward,” he said.
The ruling coalition of three parties formed a coordination committee of nine leaders with three leaders from each party. Despite the formation of it, not a single meeting of the committee has been held since its formation.
The lack of coordination between three parties was evident when BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement about the decision of purchase of onions from Japan while NCP leader and state Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde was still in meeting with Union Minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi. Later that day, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also took the credit by saying that he, too, held talks with the Union government regarding the same.
Two weeks ago, deputy CM Ajit Pawar held a review of infrastructure projects in the state where CM’s infrastructure war room in charge Radheshyam Mopalwar was not present.