After ruffling feathers in New Delhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is in Mumbai and will be meeting Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray, at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, later in the day. Mr Thackeray underwent an angioplasty yesterday and is recuperating.
Mr Pawar's visit to the hospital could be considered important, given NCP's tumultuous relation with the Congress that surfaced over the last few days. Mr Pawar is threatening to downgrade his relationship with the Congress by quitting the government and extending support from the outside. Sources in the government however say that friction between the allies in Mumbai could well be the reason behind the tension in Delhi.
While Mr Pawar and Praful Patel were making their anger known in New Delhi, Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar of the NCP, made an open attack on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, a Congressman. He said the Urban Development Department, which is under the CM, had under-utilised funds allocated to it. "Urban development department is primarily responsible for not spending the fund allocated to them," Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, told the Legislative Council while replying to a question on alleged inadequate expenditure of plan funds by various departments.
While nephew Ajit attacked a department in his own government for under-performance, Mr Pawar is also said to be unhappy with Mr Chavan's decision-making. Sources say there is a feeling that the NCP's ministers are being targeted in Maharashtra. This visit then to the recuperating Shiv Sena President could be more than just a courtesy call.