The phrase "play a role" can be followed by "in V-ing" as in (1) below:
(1) This NPO plays a central role in proposing environmental policies.
My question is whether the preposition "in" can delete as in (2):
(2) This NPO plays a central role proposing environmental policies.
I got this question because I sometimes come across the phrase like "play a role V-ing" without the presposition "in." If the preposition in this phrase can delete, I wonder whether there might be any difference between (1) and (2) in meaning. If you notice any case in which the preposition "in" cannot delet or the presence/absence of the preposition leads to a semantic difference, I would very much appreciate that type of information.
Thank you so much!