This Week Maharashtra: Watered Down
The rains lashing most parts of the state over the last few days have, for the time being at least, muted the cry for drought relief and the associated politics. The Opposition was making claims that districts and talukas had been selected as drought-hit just because a few ministers hail from there and had their eye on Central funds. Two trips to the Prime Minister's office by state government representatives had proved futile, with no announcement of a package. The Congress and the NCP have been in a contest over who can ensure such a package. The chief minister has met the Prime Minister and the empowered committee on drought headed by the NCP's Sharad Pawar.
SENA vs SENA
Protecting the Marathi manoos vote bank in Mumbai's heartland — Dadar, Prabhadevi — is at the centre of the opposition to a proposed new list of structures for the heritage tag. The Shiv Sena and the MNS are competing to prove who can protest the loudest against a tag that will come in the way of redevelopment. Earlier this year, the MNS had swept the region in the civic elections and left the original tiger wary. It is to regain its foothold that the Sena has brought back an old hand, Sada Sarvankar, into its fold. The Thackeray cousins have refrained from calling each other names.
Days after Vilasrao Deshmukh died, Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre caused sharp divisions within the party with a decision to keep the urn in district offices after immersing the ashes. Several leaders stayed away from the function that involved a prayer meet and the immersion. The current chief minister was among those who did not attend the immersion, though he attended a prayer meeting organised by the Deshmukh family the same day.
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