The Congress is banking on industries minister Narayan Rane to take on deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.It was a smooth affair for two years since the Congress-NCP government came to power in 1999,but with time cracks opened up in the alliance and on occasions reached a flashpoint.
One reason for the differences was the outspoken nature of Pawar,who never minced words while expressing his viewson key policy issues.Significantly,chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh,Sushilkumar Shinde,Ashok Chavan and now Prithviraj Chavan rarely contested his views.
After Rane joined the Congress,he found out that he was being targeted for political reasons in most cabinet meetings and there was little support from his party colleagues.
Last month,in Ranes hometown Sindhudurg,Pawar launched a full attack,saying law and order in the Konkan was deteriorating under Rane.Much to Congress leaders surprise,Rane retaliated and that,too,with vigour.Rane appearstohavesucceeded,as NCP president Sharad Pawar stepped in a day later to say it was time NCP politicians immediately stopped attacking Congress leaders.
Information on corrupt cases
Anti-corruption bureau director Sanjeev Dayal has brought in real transparency in the ACBs administration.Soon after he took over,Dayal found that even routine information was not available to the aam admi,leading to a spurt in applications under the Right to Information Act.
Dayal felt if routine information was made available to the people,it would enhance the ACBs credibility.He called technocrats managing the ACB website and gave them an ultimatum to update information in a time-bound manner.Now,specific information on the number of cases pending with the home department for permission to prosecute,open inquiry,department-wise cases and also those pending before courts across the state is on the ACB website.
But from the ACB website,its clear that crucial proposals to initiate criminal proceedings againstcorrupt babus are gathering dust in Patils office.As a result,the departments concerned have had little option but to reinstate the corrupt people with full back-wages.
Ignoring protests by senior bureaucrats and bypassing convention,CM Prithviraj Chavan initiated a proposal to grant an extension to municipalcommissioner SubodhKumar.It is no doubt the chief ministers prerogative to propose an extension for a bureaucrat,but it has conventionally been granted only to retiring chief secretaries or DGPs.
However,in the entire process,chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad invited the wrath of state election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan.As the state government did not seek her permission before granting an extension to Kumar,she warned Gaikwad that such mistakes should not be committed in future.
Asthecodeof conduct is in force,it is the duty of the state government,particularly the chief secretary,to bring tothe noticeof thestateelection commission that it is submitting a proposal to the Centre to extend Kumars term.But Satyanarayan came to know of the extension proposal through the media.