Amid reports of differences between the two ruling partners in the state – Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – over the transfer of 10 IPS officers and the poaching of five Sena corporators by the latter,Reports between Shiv Sena and NCP , Sharad Pawar visited Matoshree on Monday evening to mediate on the issues.
Shiv Sena insiders said the CM was upset over the two issues that created the differences and believed it would send a “wrong message” about the coalition government , Sharad Pawar visited Matoshree on Monday evening to mediate on the issues..
Earlier in the day, Sharad Pawar , Sena also decided to ditch its ruling partner for the Kalyan Panchayat Samiti and joined hands with former ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) .
The BJP and Sena have shared the chairman post in the panchayat samiti for one-and-a-half years each. The Sena had four members, while the BJP had five members, and NCP had three members.
“Earlier, there was an arrangement between us (Sena-NCP) since the MVA [Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi] government is in power. But the decision was changed later,” a Sena functionary from the Bhiwandi-Kalyan region said.
Home minister Anil Deshmukh, too, was a part of the Monday evening meeting to clear the air over the transfers of the IPS officers, which was later stayed by the CM.
Deshmukh is expected to meet Thackeray again on Tuesday over the issue, a senior functionary said. Sena leaders and ministers Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde were also present at Matoshree.
“Uddhav ji felt that poaching corporators was wrong. At least, the NCP should have brought the discontentment of the Sena corporators to the notice of the party chief. But Ajit Pawar chose to induct them. Such things give out a wrong message. Milind Narvekar has conveyed to Ajit Pawar on getting the corporators back to Sena,” said a Shiv Sena insider.
This was the second meeting since Friday between Pawar and Thackeray to clear differences over the lack of coordination among the ruling allies.
The CM already expressed his displeasure after Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh decided to transfer the 10 IPS officers. Though Singh has the transfer powers, the norm of consulting the CM was not followed, according to Sena insiders.
The home department is with the NCP and Singh had kept home minister Anil Deshmukh in the loop. The transfer order was not only cancelled by the chief minister on Sunday but all the DCP’s were also asked to resume their previous postings immediately.
“The chief minister has confined himself to his residence most of the times. This has led to communication gap between him and the other ministers. This must be resolved,” said a senior NCP minister.
CM is also unhappy after five of his party corporators from Parner Nagar Panchayat in Ahmednagar district joined NCP in the presence of deputy CM Ajit Pawar. As per Sena insiders, Milind Narvekar, a close aide of Thackeray, spoke to Ajit Pawar on behalf of the CM to get the five corporators back in the Sena fold.
There was a buzz that Ajit Pawar will also visit Matoshree. “It is unlikely that Ajit dada will go to Matoshree as Pawar saheb already visited the CM,” said a close aide of Ajit Pawar.
Political experts opine that Thackeray’s style of functioning could become a bone of contention in the government. “The CM is trying to run the government the way he has been running his political party and this is the main reason for friction between the three parties.
He is surrounded by a group of people and most of them are his family members. Also he has no previous experience of running a government . He doesn’t want do consult people in his cabinet ,” Prakash Bal, political expert, said, adding the government can be saved only by the NCP chief.