Not under any pressure, asserts Chavan


Mumbai : A day after the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party stand-off was resolved, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Thursday dismissed contentions that he was under pressure from his own Congress party and legislators.

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“What pressures… I have no idea about the pressures you refer to? I was not under any pressure from my party,” Chavan shot back at media persons here.

Chavan’s reaction came in response to queries whether he had been directed to tread carefully on cases of corruption involving political leaders.

The chief minister countered by saying that the recent Congress-NCP crisis was a media creation and that the co-ordination between the two coalition partners in the state has always been good.

“They wanted to give a formal touch to this and we have agreed. Though the top leaders have always kept in touch and meet informally, now formal co-ordination meetings will take place between us every month,” he said.

Referring to alleged corruption cases, Chavan added that there have been certain media reports about some cases while some are before the courts and nothing can be done about them.

“About the white paper on irrigation, the portfolio is held by the NCP since 1999. My intention was to highlight the facts pertaining to development of irrigation potential to enable prioritise projects,” Chavan said, defending his suggestion two months ago on the issue which raised the NCP’s hackles.

Stressing that a white paper is a “communication” between the government and people, he said: “There is no question of my targeting anybody.”

On the reported memorandum questioning his style of functioning by some 40-odd Congress legislators who wrote to party in-charge of the state Mohan Prakash, Chavan said state party chief Manikrao Thakre had shown it to him and discussed the issue.

“It deals with around 14 developmental issues and demands to restructure the cabinet. They wanted to meet me on these and I will meet them. I don’t think it is any act of dissidence,” Chavan contended.