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1.30 pm Dec 07, 2012

Ajit Pawar reinstated as Maharashtra Deputy CM

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, who had resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra over the irrigation scam, was re-inducted into the state Cabinet. The decision to re-induct Pawar in the Cabinet came days after the white paper on the irrigation scam in the state was tabled. The white paper on irrigation scam had given a clean chit to the NCP leader. Talk to a seasoned analyst to get the whole picture.
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24 questions answered | No question pending
  • How much would have been the involvement of Congress and NCP high commands in the outcome of these events? Asked by: Rishi V.
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Such queries really have no answer. It is quite possible that the party leadership decided not to allow this issue to blow up.
  • If Ajit Pawar could be reinstated after a 72 day whitepaper presentation, then what is going to stop congress from reinstating Ashok Chavan after over 2 years of commission enquiry? Asked by: Rishi V.
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar There are clear differences--in Ashok Chavan's case, there is an FIR and a court case while in Ajit Pawar's case, so far, there are only public allegations no formal inquiry. Secondly, reinstating anyone is a political choice unless prohibited by Courts.In Asdhok Chavan's case the Congress does not want to do that for reason mentioned above.
  • Politicians and allegations against by opposition is now such a routine that a new agency to deal with the allegations expeditiously is needed ? was this the expected role of LOKPAL and if so why it is being stalled ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar A new agency would be equally ineffective and Lokpal is not the answer unless there is good evidence as it happened in Karanataka.
  • A serious question. If Ajit is cleared and back as Dy.C.M ,since he did no wrong,Then should not the govt.sue the Media and others who spread false allegations and defamed Ajit,NCP and the Govt ??? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar While politics of mere allegations is not very useful, there is no case for suing media--they only project what comes up in the public domain. As for the opposition, it is their job to bring matters out. So, suing would be a very technical legal measure. Politicians ordinarily do not take this route. Secondly, the white paper has not cleared anyone just as much as it has not implicated anyone.
  • Support to FDI,while opposing it for Maharashtra. Now Ajit back as Dy.CM.Is it to ensure that FDI is not let in Maharashtra. Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar My sense is that these two things are unrelated.
  • Has this reinstatement hit the credibility of our 'Mr. Clean' CM, as it could be perceived as succumbing to political pressure? Asked by: Rishi V.
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar It is surely a limit on CM's capacity that has come to the forefront and that was obvious in coalition politics.
  • Ajit Pawar also nurtures the ambition of becoming Maharashtra's chief minister in 2014. could he even go to the extent of forging a new alliance with saffron parties or MNS? Asked by: anand
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar In principle, he might do it, but realistically, this will depend on how Congress does at the all-India level; besides SS-BJP and MNS together may not want him to be with them.
  • Reinduction after White paper ,which Arvind called as black paper. Has the white paper clearly exonerated Ajit ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar The White paper is tame and unspecific. Does not blame anyone -does not exonerate anyone.
  • Will it be a cakewalk for Ajit Pawar? How are things diff now? Asked by: leena
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Not a cakewalk at all. he has enough competition within and outside his party and the government. The issue with him and our political class in general is the inability to balance self interest of the party with some performance that is lauded more generally. Not much has happened in the intervening period to expect that he will change ways dramatically or substantively.
  • Sir, Where u see Shiv Sena & MNS post 2015? Which party will lead ahead of either? Asked by: Ashu
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar As of now, my best guess is Shiv Sena will continue to be more numerous compared to MNS in the near future. But it is early days yet and much politics has yet to happen before 2014.
  • What will be the impact of Ajit Pawar's reinstatement as Maharashtra Deputy CM on Maha Politics? Asked by: Raghu
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar It would ensure continuation of the Congress-NCP alliance in the state. It would also indicate the limits to the new politics and policies the CM wants to adopt.
  • Is this an indication of Cong-NCP going to 2014 elections in an alliance? Asked by: Rishi V.
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Surely. At its minimum, it is an indication that Congress does not want to unsettle its relation with NCP at this juncture.
  • Why the investigation is not being done by CBI or A commission of sitting Supreme court judge. Asked by: DK
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar These are time taking procedures and do not always lead to much. The issue is political and has to be tackled politically--by the Opposition, by the MLAs of all parties and by the Assembly as also by media.
  • Will there be an SIT probe? Asked by: urmi
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar unlikely! And SIT is not an answer to every problem in any case.
  • What will happen to Mr. Pandhare who has put paper which shows loss of Rs. 15,000 Crore. If not Ajit Pawar then who is to be blamed? Asked by: HS
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar As you know very well, there has not been any focused debate in the state on Mr Pandhare's allegations. he also submitted his resignation only to withdraw it later. His more recent public appearances and participation in public functions also put him in a curious situation to say the least. I also do no think we should be trying to find out any single person as responsible. The entire department and its bureaucracy must have been complicit all these years.
  • Were the CAG report, the economic survey report and the Vadnare committee report incorrect in their findings? Asked by: Anu
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Specific committee reports always have limited scope. And CAG or Economic Survey are not the right pathways to examine government policy, its implementation and issues of policy impact. In the case of irrigation there are two key issues: one relates to corruption and/or delays and cost escalations; another and more important is about irrigation potential and capacity of the state to make best use of available irrigation potential.
  • Why are the crucial questions raised by Vigilance Chief Vijay Pandhare ignored by the white paper? Asked by: Pratik
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Tough to answer why --because we do not know the process through which the so called white paper is prepared. But within the bureaucracy, there are often enough bureaucrats who share the imagination of the minister (or ex-minister)or who are simply loyal to certain political sections.
  • Ajit Pawar Maha NCP's most powerful leader? Asked by: RK
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Surely, at the state level, Ajit Pawar is the most powerful leader of NCP and this has been so since last Assembly elections. But he has not thought out a strategy of dealing with the Congress at the all-India level. As of now, his politics also appears to be more focused on Maharashtra.
  • Mr.Ajit pawar have more influence than Mr.Sharad Pawar in party and their MLAs Asked by: Harry
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar This is a complicated matter. As someone who was part of candidate selection in 2009 Assembly election and also as Dy CM and party leader, Ajit Pawar is bound to have more direct clout with party MLAs. But I would still think that as leader, Sharad Pawar would have more weight and greater sophistication in dealing with party MLAs.
  • a deputy cm which have been alleged for a scam is been again reinstated as deputy CM Asked by: pranav
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Allegations are part of our contemporary politics. Real issue is how to ensure substance to allegations. The opposition is not successful in doing so nor is the Congress able to do that.
  • White paper on irrigation scam was an attempt to bring back deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar back? Asked by: Sunil
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Not in the very direct sense. I think the idea of white paper on irrigation did make sense and it was also a political strategy by the CM to corner NCP. that it did not work this way is a testimony to the power wielded by NCP and its leadership both against Congress and within the bureaucracy of the state.
  • Was the resignation an eye wash? Asked by: Somil Pahuja
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Right from the beginning, it was an orchestrated strategy. Our political class is adept at performative politics and the resignation was a multi-pronged strategy--threat to Congress, countercheck on Sharad Pawar and an emotive weapon with regards the followers.
  • What Does The Future Holds? Asked by: Neha
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar Nothing very exciting for sure! We are at a stage where the tension between citizen expectations and political performance will continue for some time to come. As for Maharashtra, the developments indicate that Congress-NCP alliance will continue and within NCP, Ajit Pawar will be the important center of power.
  • Is there any doubt powerful people in power are ever implicated either by internal investigation or by our esteem independent judicary? Asked by: Tiger
  • Prof Suhas Palshikar The frustration in your question is understandable. Though, of course, the judiciary does occasionally implicates the accused--only when prosecution is more diligent and impartial. The real worry is the inability of the political process to ensure that accused politicians are investigated efficiently and punished politically, in cases of possible involvement. In the current issue pertaining to Ajit pawar, however, charges were broad and vague and possibly nothing could be done in such situations. More than corruption, the issue here is about irrigation policy, delays and distortions in the same and role of Ajit Pawar. Even the media has done little to follow up on these issues.

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Prof Suhas Palshikar
Director, Lokniti Research Programme, CSDS