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Congress, NCP bicker in Maharashtra; Sena for central rule

Wednesday February 01, 2012 08:21:38 PM, IANS

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Wednesday demanded imposition of president's rule in Maharashtra in the wake of the open bickering in the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance ahead of civic polls.

"Here we have senior ministers of the government describing each other as goons. This means there is 'goonda raj' in the state," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut told reporters.

He was referring to the ongoing war of words between Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister R.R. Patil (both from NCP) and Industry Minister Narayan Rane and Minister of State Bhaskar Jadhav from the Congress.

"The president's rule can weed out this 'goondaism' in the state... Even (Chief Minister) Prithviraj Chavan is unable to stop all this," added Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP and executive editor of the party mouthpiece Saamna.

Ahead of the crucial zila parishad and municipal corporation polls across the state beginning next week, senior leaders of the Democratic Front have started a tirade against each other.

A couple of days ago, Rane threatened to "disrobe" the NCP.

Addressing an election rally in Sindhudurg in the coastal Konkan region Tuesday, he launched a vituperative attack against both Ajit Pawar and R.R. Patil, ticking them off on various counts.

He alleged that there was complete lawlessness in Pune (Pawar's home district) and that he was a "vagabond" not carrying out his functions as the deputy chief minister.

Reeling off the state's crime statistics, Rane directly questioned Patil's competence in handling the home portfolio.

Not surprisingly, both Pawar and Patil hit back Wednesday in equal measure.

Speaking in Ahmednagar district, Pawar said Rane had lost his "mental balance, is sad and frustrated".

In Sangli district, Patil dared Rane and his sons to give up their police security and move around before commenting on the law and order situation.

A former chief minister, Rane was expelled by the Shiv Sena and joined the Congress in 2005. He is apparently perturbed over the growing NCP influence and poaching spree in his home turf, the Konkan region.

As part of his 'anti-NCP' series of rallies, Rane now plans to address one next week in Pune - the Pawar family's bastion.







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