Coalition partners behave like owners: Chavan

In an apparent jibe at coalition partner NCP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said that some coalition constituents in Delhi and in the state behave as if they "own" their departments.

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2011, 11:10 AM IST

Mumbai: In an apparent jibe at coalition
partner NCP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has
said that some coalition constituents in Delhi and in the
state behave as if they "own" their departments.

"In Delhi, I have experienced coalition governments at
close quarters, while in the PMO. I am aware of the
difficulties. There is a basic difference between the
government in Delhi and the one in Maharashtra. There, one
party (Congress) is the dominant partner, while here, both
the parties are almost equally stacked," he said.

"I have seen that personalities are important, while
working in a coalition. In Delhi, some in the coalition behave
as if they are owners of the departments. Here also, the
situation is somewhat similar," Chavan said without naming
deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of NCP.

However, asked to name a couple of NCP leaders with
whom he gets along very well, Chavan, tried to amend things,
saying, "I get along very well with all of them."

"Many a time, there are difficulties in coordination.
However, this is expected in a coalition government," Chavan,
who was sworn in as CM on November 11 last year, said during a
media interaction here.

However, this is not the first time Chavan has made
public the unease in working with the coalition partner. In
July, he had said that Congress, agreeing to give the key Home
portfolio to NCP, was a "mistake".

"I think it was a mistake. We should have re-looked at
it. I don`t know of any other coalition government, where the
portfolios of Home, Finance and Planning are not with the
Chief Minister," he had said.

On the development front, the Chief Minister said that 40
mega projects would be put on fast-track to boost investment
and spur industrial growth in the state.

"My government has already signed MoU on five projects,
each worth over Rs 500 crore. The remaining 32 projects will
be fast-tracked in the coming months," Chavan said, adding
"politics of development" will be integral to his
administration and corrective measures to enhance transparency
and reforms would be emphasised.

"We tried hard to get Maruti Suzuki to set up its project
in Maharashtra. But Maruti opted for Gujarat as it had made
huge investments in the ports there. Maharashtra needs to
expedite the development of ports which has been delayed,"
Chavan said.

Problems associated with land acquisition have been
stalling many projects, and it was imperative to remove these
hurdles, the Chief Minister said.

In the Mihan (Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and
Airport at Nagpur) project, Chavan said, he has taken
initiative to resolve the land acquisition crisis.

"After acquisition of 4,000 hectares of land, the project
found itself stuck in the pipeline for 150 hectares. I have
taken some corrective steps to find a solution," he said.

On the Jaitapur nuclear project in coastal Konkan, the
chief minister said land acquisition was not the hurdle, but
local protests came in the way. "We will be paying higher
monetary compensation and the same would be announced soon,"
he said.

Chavan said he was "not happy" about the decision to
file a criminal complaint against Lavasa Corporation, but
did so following a court directive, adding that he had
requested the Centre to grant environmental clearance to the
project only after fulfilment of all conditions prescribed by
it.

The Chief Minister admitted that adequate attention was
not paid to environmental clearance, while approving certain
projects in the past.

PTI