In the midst of the stand-off between the Congress and its ally Nationalist Congtress Party at the Centre, the urban development department headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday came in for criticism by his Deputy Ajit Pawar over its alleged failure to spend 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.
Pawar said, "The Urban Development Department had utilised only Rs 2,299 crore out of the total Rs 4,109 crore allocated to it and its performance vis-a-vis with other government departments was less".
The deputy CM urged all departments to fully utilise funds provided to them and said the government planned to have quarterly review meetings to monitor expenditure.
Pawar's comment comes in the backdrop of the continuing stand-off between NCP led by his uncle and Union minister Sharad Pawar and the Congress at the Centre.
Pawar was reportedly peeved at not being given the number 2 status in the government after the exit of Pranab Mukherjee.
Senior NCP leader and Union minister Praful Patel while refusing to divulge the specific aspects of discord, indicated in Delhi that there were differences.
"Our issues are: functioning of the government, functioning of UPA and functioning of the larger coalition," Patel said after Sharad Pawar's meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday morning and with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last night.
Chavan has often been targetted by NCP, a coalition partner in the state government, for "slow decision-making", a charge, however, denied by him.