NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday evening to discuss better co-ordination on critical issues, sources told NDTV.
The meeting, which took place at Matoshree, the Chief Minister’s residence, was the second in four days between the two. No statement has been made on these meetings, which have included issues like the transfer of DCP-rank police officers in Mumbai and the implementation of the coronavirus lockdown.
Accompanying Mr Pawar at Monday’s meeting was Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Soon after the meeting between Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray, top Shiv Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde were also seen at Matoshree.
The meeting came amid continuing reports of unhappiness among members of the state’s ruling alliance – the Maha Vikas Aghadi, which consists of Mr Pawar’s NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), Mr Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and the Congress.
Sources have said that with the NCP heading the Home Department, the transfer of senior police officers should not have gone through without either the Chief Minister or the Home Minister’s approval.
On Sunday, the government stayed the transfer of Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) that had been ordered by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The unprecedented move came after Mr Pawar’s meeting with Mr Thackeray on Friday and barely three days after the 10 transfers were notified by Mumbai’s top cop.
Naval Bajaj, Joint Commission of Police (Administration), issued orders cancelling all 10 transfers but gave no reason.
Sources, however, said the transfers were stayed at the behest of the Chief Minister’s Office. The Police Commissioner also met the Chief Minister over the weekend on the issue.
On Sunday Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said: “We want to state that the CM’s Office and Home Department have decided to cancel the internal transfers declared by Mumbai Police Commissioner. We are working in excellent coordination and there are no problems between us”.
Nevertheless, sources have said the MVA has been unable to agree on several issues, including nomination of MLCs under the Governor’s quota.
The Shiv Sena is also upset over five of its councilors/corporators in Ahmednagar jumping to the NCP. They joined the party in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
So far as Monday’s meeting is concerned, sources have told NDTV that both the Sena and the NCP had complaints.
However, with veteran political Sharad Pawar handling the matter, they have also said there is no threat to the Maharashtra government, unless Mr Pawar himself chooses to do so.
Meanwhile, the Congress has also expressed unhappiness at not being consulted on key issues. The party hit back at Sharad Pawar last week after his snub to Rahul Gandhi for attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the stand-off with China in Ladakh.