Nagpur: Opposition Boycotts Tea Party, CM Shinde Says Maharashtra Govt Working On Maratha Quota

Nagpur: Opposition Boycotts Tea Party, CM Shinde Says Maharashtra Govt Working On Maratha Quota

CM Shinde termed the boycott of the customary tea party of the government by the Opposition as an act of low confidence of an outfit reeling under latest electoral defeat in three states.

Ramu BhagwatUpdated: Wednesday, December 06, 2023, 10:24 PM IST
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Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said that his government was committed to provide reservation to Maratha community without impinging on the rights of the OBCs.

Briefing newspersons on the eve of the winter session of the state legislature he termed the boycott of the customary tea party of the government by the Opposition as an act of low confidence of an outfit reeling under latest electoral defeat in three states. Both deputy chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar also dismissed allegations of corruption and collapsed law and order situations as baseless and devoid of facts.

Debilitated Opposition

Shinde pointed out that the Opposition combine was so debilitated that it had hardly any confidence to engage the government and discuss issues, the purpose for which a customary tea party is arranged on session eve. He said the letter given by the Opposition declaring the tea party boycott had 23 names of leaders but signed by only seven. “Out of the seven, three were literally dozing off at the meeting and the press briefing.”

Agrarian Crisis and Opposition Allegations

Earlier in the day the Opposition alleged that the coalition government has failed to address the agrarian crisis, on-going riots, deteriorating law and order, drug-related crimes, and widespread corruption in the government sector. Leaders from various opposition parties, notably Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharad Pawar), and Peasants and Workers Party, convened this afternoon and collectively decided to abstain from the tea party hosted by the Shinde government. Leader of the opposition Vijay Wadettiwar alleged that only 40 tehsils were identified as hit by farm crisis and said the choice was politically motivated.

Opposition's Claims on NCRB Data

Citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Wadettiwar claimed that 22,746 farmers in Maharashtra have committed suicide due to agrarian distress and indebtedness. Wadettiwar highlighted the lack of control over corruption in the government sector, particularly in the healthcare department.

Wadettiwar said it was inappropriate ofbthe government tonhold tea party when farmers in the state were in deep distresss . He said opposition would demand a complete loan waiver of affected farmers who lost crop in drought followed by unseasonal rains.

He also informed that the NCRB recorded 8,218 rioting cases in 2022. He accused the ruling coalition of deliberately fueling the Maratha reservation and OBC agitations to divert attention from burning issues. Without naming Chhagan Bhujbal, Wadettiwar also questioned how a minister can take sides on community matters while in office and demanded his resignation.

In their interaction with the press, Shinde said the government was sincere in its approach and was meticulously following a process for a fail-proof system to provide reservation to Marathas. “The earlier government was unable to do it and so the process failed the judicial test. But we are working on war footing to ensure that the matter stands in the court and is within the legal framework.”

Fadnavis Disputes NCRB Reports

Fadnavis said the opposition was misleading people on the NCRB reports as their leaders had no idea of deciphering the data which is based on every state’s population. Fadnavis who also holds the home portfolio said the law and order situation was firmly in control.

Ajit Pawar dismissed the opposition allegation that the state finances were in doldrums and external debts had shot up beyond limits. He said the state was following fiscal discipline and loans were within norms fixed by the Centre.

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