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Hazare fast, Cong-NCP bickering hog limelight in Maharashtra

Last Updated: Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 08:45

Mumbai: The political landscape in Maharashtra in 2013 saw Sharad Pawar`s NCP seeking to outmanoeuvre Congress, an agitation by sugarcane growers and tussle between the government and Opposition over alleged corruption in irrigation projects.

Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who had waged a long battle to pressurise the Maharashtra government to pass the Anti-Black Magic Bill, was killed in Pune in August. After four months and intense protests, the Congress-NCP government ensured passage of the Bill in Maharashtra Assembly.

As the year drew to an end, it was the indefinite fast undertaken by social activist Anna Hazare at his Ralegan Siddhi village for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill, which hogged media space.

Also, the report of the judicial commission of inquiry on the Adarsh scam was tabled in the Legislative Assembly. It was rejected by the state government. The two-member panel headed by Justice (retd) J A Patil indicted several politicians including three former chief ministers -- Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan -- for "blatant violations" of statutory provisions.

The commission came down heavily on those in authority describing the scam as a "bad precedent" which reflected "greed, nepotism and favouritism" by those associated with it.

The public spat between Hazare associate former Army chief Gen VK Singh and AAP leader Gopal Rai in presence of the Gandhian bared the differences between the social activist and his former protege Arvind Kejriwal.

NCP, in its bid to become the senior partner in the ruling alliance in the state after next year`s Assembly polls, left no opportunity to target Congress, specially Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who completed three years at the helm in November.

Perhaps the year`s most telling political statement, came from Pawar, reflecting the state of affairs between the ruling partners.

First Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 08:45
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