The prevailing animosity between Congress and NCP took a sharp turn for the worse yesterday after Deputy CM Ajit Pawar prevented Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s from apologising in both houses for his deputy’s insensitive remarks against a draught hit farmer’s demand for dam water.
Chavan’s intention was to pacify the Opposition parties, who have been stalling proceedings at the state legislature for the past few days, clamouring for Pawar’s resignation. Unfazed by these developments, Pawar is said to have stormed into Chavan’s chamber at Vidhan Bhavan, accompanied by a few of his cabinet colleagues. The group stiffly resisted Chavan’s plans of tendering any apology.
“You need not apologise to the Opposition as I have already done it on Monday,” Pawar is believed to have said. Sources revealed that Pawar’s tantrums prevented Chavan from reaching a compromise with the Opposition parties so that legislative proceedings could be resumed.
As per an informal arrangement reached by the CM and the Opposition parties at a meeting, Chavan was to make apologies in both the houses of the state legislature. Even the draft of the apology was ready, but Pawar’s cronies objected to this gesture, saying that this would give an advantage to Chavan and in consequence but Pawar on a back foot.
When the leaders of Opposition parties came to know of the developments, the clamour for Pawar’s resignation rose. In a meeting attended by BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS leaders, it was decided that boycotting Pawar would be an adequate response to the situation. ‘Our next course of action will be discussed on Wednesday morning and the boycott will also be announced then,’ revealed a senior leader from the Opposition. If this happens, no questions will be posed to Pawar in the assembly, and nor will any of his comments be entertained, in the event that he wishes to put them forward. “We want to convey to the draught-hit people that such insensitive remarks will not be tolerated,” he added.
Meanwhile, NCP suffered yet another setback. The party decided to postpone its National Youth Convention at New Delhi, scheduled to be held today. NCP had invited its state youth wing presidents and office bearers for the convention at G V Mavalankar auditorium in the Capital. Party chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was to address the youth wing office bearers, but he announced in the eleventh hour that he would be unable to attend it, revealed sources. This move comes as a setback as the convention was scheduled well in advance and at least 100 young office bearers from Maharashtra had already reached the national capital.
Welcome to the Pawar urinal
Ajit Pawar’s remark on Monday that his crude remarks were the biggest mistake of his life seems to have done little for his sullied image. Some local activists have named a urinal in Jalna after Ajit Pawar, in retribution for his comment about ‘urinating in dam’. A poster with a photograph of Pawar was also pasted there.