Mumbai : Nationalist Congress Party and Opposition leader Ajit Pawar has said that he finds no credibility in the claim by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that anti-social elements were going to let loose a snake among the Warkaris (devotees) at Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi (July 23) in order to create panic and a stampede-like situation. The CM should have substantiated his allegations and placed evidence before the public, Pawar felt.
He was speaking at an event organised by the party’s Pune unit and Chintamani Gyanpeeth on the occasion of Guru Poornima on July 27. Rubbishing Fadnavis’s claims, Pawar said that there was no leader inciting the Maratha community and that their agitation was an expression of longstanding resentment and the government should not backtrack on its promise of reservation any longer.
The NCP leader also tooka dig at Manohar ‘Sambhaji’ Bhide, prime accused in the Bhima-Koregaon riots in January 2018. He said that while there was a Guruji (Mahatma Jyotiba Phule) who had started the first school for women in Pune, there were leaders like Bhide, who claimed to be social reformers like Phule but only served to roil public sentiment, spread discontent and make specious claims of childless couples going on to have sons after consuming mangoes grown in Bhide’s orchard.