Mumbai, December 13
On the eve of the winter session of Maharashtra legislature, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday attacked the BJP for accusing his government of “non-performance”, saying the Opposition party was “so busy” trying to “topple” his government that it failed to notice various welfare measures being undertaken.
Addressing a press conference, Thackeray hit out at Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis for his remarks of “an undeclared Emergency” in the state.
“If there is an undeclared Emergency in Maharashtra, then is there a declared Emergency in the rest of the country given the manner in which the protesting farmers are being targeted on the outskirts of Delhi?” Thackeray asked.
He questioned whether “pouring water on farmers (use of water cannons) in biting cold is a sign of harmony?”
Without taking names, the CM, who also heads Shiv Sena, criticised the attempts to “discredit” the protests by farmers.
“The BJP should decide whether protesters have support from Pakistan, China or Maoists. You bring sugar and onions from Pakistan. Now farmers are also coming from Pakistan,” he said sarcastically.
Union minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the agitation no longer remains a farmers’ movement as it has been “infiltrated by Leftist and Maoist elements” demanding the release of those put behind bars for “anti-national activities”.
This was clearly to derail agriculture reforms brought by the government, he said.
Another BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Danve, who hails from Maharashtra, recently stirred a controversy with his remarks that China and Pakistan were behind the protests being staged by cultivators, inviting sharp reactions from various quarters.
“If Fadnavis says the state government taking action against its critics is causing undeclared emergency then labelling farmers who are fighting for their rights as anti-nationals is worse than Emergency,” Thackeray said.
He said those who dub ‘annadatas’ (farmers) terrorists are not entitled to be called humans.
“The BJP has been so busy trying to destabilise the state government that it had no time to go through the work done by us in the last one year. There is no disillusionment among people about the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government,” he said.
Addressing a press conference earlier in the day, Fadnavis accused the government of imposing an “undeclared Emergency” and criticised the Uddhav Thackeray-led regime for “going after” Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and Bollywood actress Kanagana Ranaut.
Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said Fadnavis looked “demoralised” while addressing the presser.
“The MVA won the recently-held Legislative Council polls held for Graduates and Teachers constituencies, which is a proof that people are satisfied with the government’s performance. In these polls, the BJP even lost the Nagpur Graduates seat which it never lost in the last five decades,” he said.
Pawar said the names sent to state Governor B S Koshyari for nomination on 12 Legislative Council seats through the governor’s quota be filled in a specific timeframe.
“We agree to the governor’s discretion and powers but there should be a timeframe for filling these seats,” the deputy CM said when asked about the pending approval of the governor. — PTI