Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo and senior Maratha leader Sharad Pawar on Saturday blamed Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, DCM Devendra Fadnavis, and government machinery for the lathi charge at Jalna. He also appealed to the agitators to continue with peaceful agitation while stating that attempts are being made to tarnish the image of the agitation.
Brutal force was used against the agitator after a call from Mumbai, he said while stating that Home Minister Fadnavis should know what his responsibilities are.
Issues of Maratha quota, cast census discussed at INDIA meet in Mumbai: Pawar
He also claimed that the issues of Maratha quota and cast census were discussed at the I.N.D.I.A. meet in Mumbai. “The protestors told me the agitation was peaceful and discussions were on with the local administration. The protestors were raising slogans against home minister (and deputy chief minister) Devendra Fadnavis. They told me the police got a call from higher-ups and then their attitude changed,” Pawar told reporters in Jalna.
Reservations for the Maratha community was given by the Congress-NCP government but, unfortunately, it did not pass the legal test, he said.“I appeal to the chief minister (Eknath Shinde) to intervene and find a solution,” he said. Sharad Pawar blamed the state home department for the incident and termed the police action as “inhuman”.
Talking to reporters after meeting the injured persons, the NCP chief said the issues (of removal of the 50 per cent ceiling and caste census) were discussed (in the INDIA alliance) meet but a final decision was not arrived at.
“We will raise these in Parliament,” the former Union minister said.
“When I was chief minister... there was a stampede in Nagpur (an apparent reference to Gowari stampede of 1994 in which more than 100 persons were killed) and some tribals had died. (Then) Minister Madhukar Pichad, who belonged to the tribal community, resigned owning responsibility,” he said. Even R R Patil, who was an efficient home minister, resigned when there was an uproar over a comment he made after the 26/11 attacks, Pawar said.
Present government should learn how administration works, says Pawar
“The present government should learn how administration works,” Pawar said in an apparent reaction to DCM Fadnavi’s remarks that even Sharad Pawar hadn’t resigned after Gowari massacre. The NCP supremo said the Jalna incident took place on a day when chief ministers of seven states, former chief ministers of five states and top national leaders were in Mumbai (to attend the INDIA alliance conclave).
They were in the metropolis to discuss about providing a formidable alternative (to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance) to the people of the country.
“Some people say the incident was aimed at diverting attention from the (INDIA) alliance meet,” he said.