Mumbai: Opposition Congress and NCP today hit out at the BJP-led dispensation after a 32-year-old aspirant of a Maharashtra government job attempted suicide outside the Mantralaya here. The man, Avinash Shete, was apparently upset over failing to clear the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination held in 2013 for the post of an Assistant in the agriculture department.
Taking a dig at Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar for “not being around” when farmers’ issues crop up, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said anyone who can locate the minister will get a prize of Rs 1000. “Phundkar was nowhere to be seen when an old farmer (Dharma Patil) committed suicide or when issues of a loan waiver, a farmers agitation etc. came up. (He is missing) even now when a man attempted suicide for failing to clear the MPSC exam for the post of Agriculture Assistant,” Malik said.
Anyone who can locate the “missing” minister will get a prize of Rs 1,000, the money for which will be collected from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he said. Earlier in the day, Shete, a resident of Nevase in Ahmednagar district, doused himself with kerosene in front of a gate of the state secretariat in South Mumbai following which he was detained.
Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant said the BJP government was playing the “Blue Whale” game with the people of the state. “In the last three-and-half years, more than 13,000 farmers had committed suicide in the state. Earlier, farmers came to the Mantralaya to end their lives. Now even educated unemployed youths are facing tough time,” he said.
He said the government’s “apathy” as well as “false assurances and policies” are responsible for such incidents. “The government has failed to provide jobs to the youth and is playing the Blue Whale game (a social networking phenomenon in which the contestant’s ultimate task is to kill himself) with them by making irresponsible comments like ‘farmers’ children should not look for jobs and that frying pakodas is also an employment,'” the Congress leader said.
Meanwhile, Phundkar called Shete to his chamber in the Mantralaya after he came to know about the incident. The minister telephoned Agriculture Commissioner’s office and directed them to apprise him of Shete’s case on Monday, a government statement said. Phundkar also told Shete that suicide was not a solution to any problem and assured that justice would be done, it said. He also accepted Shete’s demand for rechecking his examination papers, according to the statement.