Wanted: Feisty Congressmen to take on NCP netas

Insiders claim that the CM is on the lookout for some aggressive Congress members, who will snap back every time NCP ministers bark at them

While the troubled NCP-Congress alliance struggles to mend the cracks, Chief Minister Chavan is in dire need of a support system, which will rally around him.

The first and foremost qualification he is looking for: aggression. Having faced flack from the ranks of their lukewarm allies, the NCP, way too often, the CM is now on the hunt for the most vocal of his comrades. His job profile: to give back in good measure the brash attacks faced from NCP members. Chavan's search, however, is proving futile.

Need to fight fire with fire: Sources claim CM Prithviraj Chavan is
worried as he has not been able to find others like Industries Minister
Narayan Rane, to counter the attacks launched by NCP members. File pics

During a recent conversation with MiD DAY, Chavan was asked whether his party ministers were a tad too timid in their responses to the NCP' thrusts, and whether they had failed to launch a counter attack one time too many. Denying such suggestions, Chavan insisted that ministers like Narayan Rane, Harshwardhan Patil and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil had always risen to the need of the hour, and responded adequately to the criticisms leveled by the antagonistic elements in the ranks of the NCP.

While the foundations of the NCP-Congress alliance were shaky from the start, an alarming number of cracks have been appearing on the fa ade of cordiality of late, with NCP members of the cabinet raising questions about the legitimacy and feasibility of the decisions taken by departments under the control of Congress ministers.

Insiders claim that at a recently held state cabinet meeting, Narayan Rane took strong exception to the NCP's proposal of marginally increasing the remuneration of Shikshan Sevaks.

Citing rising inflation as the reason for his reluctance, he insisted that the pay be fixed at Rs 10,000-15,000.
In several occasions in the past, NCP ministers including Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, RR Patil have unleashed their tirades against the decisions taken by Congress members. In one such case in July, PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal lauched an attack on the MMRDA at a cabinet meeting, expressing his indignation at what he claimed were 'unilateral' decisions being taken by the Congress.

Insiders claimed that there was also simmering discontent among the NCP ranks, when, in the wake of the 13/7 blasts, Chavan made it amply clear that he had been mistaken in offering the Home department portfolio to the NCP.

In several occasions in the past, the NCP has not minced its words or let go of an opportunity to question the motives and rationale behind the decisions made by departments held by Congress ministers.
In July last year, they took serious objection to Rajya Sabha member Hussain Dalwai's suggestion that the NCP had orchestrated the Sangli communal riots in September 2009.  

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