Cong names Narayan Rane as member of Cong-NCP panel

Mumbai: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Textile Minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan have been named as members of the Congress-NCP co-ordination committee.

The names of the two ministers were announced by the AICC yesterday, party sources here said.

The other panel members from the Congress are Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, State unit Congress president Manikrao Thakre and Mumbai unit chief Kripashankar Singh.

The idea of a co-ordination committee was mooted by Chavan after sharp differences emerged between the 10-year-old coalition partners few months ago when Congress spokesman Hussain Dalwai blamed the NCP for instigating communal riots in Sangli-Miraj before the Assembly elections last year.

Meanwhile, NCP ministers have expressed displeasure against the functioning present regime in Maharashtra alleging that the Chief Minister delayed clearing files related to their department.

Chavan, too, has criticised his NCP ministers for speaking against Cabinet decisions in public.

It was Chavan himself, who, while stressing the need to ensure smooth running of the coalition government, suggested that a committee be appointed to air grievances of both the parties instead of going public.

NCP members of the committee include Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Power Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister R R Patil and state unit NCP chief Madhukar Pichad.

The first meeting of the panel was held last week. The two partners have decided to meet every three months.