Ajit Pawar stands up CM in cabinet meeting

After NCP aligned itself with Sena-BJP for Zilla Parishad presidential elections, Prithviraj Chavan was forced to wait for 30 minutes for Dy CM, who then decided to skip crucial meeting altogether

The cracks on the fa ade of the Congress-NCP alliance have been noticed for months, but now the walls are finally crumbling.

Left high and dry: Sources say CM was upset that Ajit Pawar missed
the meeting as he wanted to share a word with him over NCP's decision
to align with Shiv Sena-BJP for the Zilla Parishad elections. File pic

After deserting the Congress on Wednesday during presidential elections at the Zilla Parishad level, there was further discord in the troubled Congress-NCP alliance yesterday, when Deputy CM Ajit Pawar chose to remain absent for a crucial state cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

According to a senior minister, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was expecting Pawar to attend the meeting yesterday, where discussions were to be conducted on the upcoming budget for 2012-13. Senior leaders say the meeting had to be delayed for 30 minutes as everyone was waiting for Pawar to show up.  The meeting was eventually cancelled.

Another meeting has been planned for Monday, said sources, an hour before the presentation of the budget. They added that the CM was anxious to have a word with Pawar, after the election drama on Wednesday.
The NCP had sent shockwaves through Congress circles on Wednesday when it aligned itself with the Sena-BJP combine for elections to posts of president and vice-president at the Zilla Parishads.

Expectedly, Congress and NCP leaders lashed out at each other. While NCP state unit chief Madhukar Pichad blamed the Congress' attitude of non-cooperation with the NCP, Manikrao Thakre, state Congress chief said that the NCP had failed to keep its word, leading to the tension in the alliance.

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