Mumbai: A day after Shiv Sena extended support to three farmers bills moved by the BJP led government in Lok Sabha, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at his official Varsha residence. Pawar has reportedly made a strong case for Shiv Sena to oppose these bills in the Rajya Sabha and thereby remain with other opposition parties in the larger interest of the farmers.
Sources told Free Press Journal, ‘’Pawar has already held meetings with opposition parties in Delhi before he arrived in Mumbai on Friday. His daughter and NCP MP Supriya Sule stood with the Akali Dal in their support to oppose these bills. Shiv Sena’s support to these bills has surprised NCP and Congress as the saffron party is heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. During today’s (Saturday) meeting it was Pawar’s attempt to take Shiv Sena on board to put up united opposition against the farmers’ bills in the upper house.’’
Further, Pawar expressed serious concerns over the rising Covid-19 cases especially in rural areas and made few suggestions to step up containment measures.
This apart, Pawar and Thackeray also discussed at length the Maratha reservation issue. Pawar has suggested an ordinance route while the state government is expected to file a review petition next week against the Supreme Court's interim stay on the 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs. Both are on the same page that the Maratha reservation should be restored at the earliest and thereby avoid any attempt to vitiate the political atmosphere in the state.
Pawar and Thackeray had a discussion also on the recent police transfers in which Amitabh Gupta, who had given travel permission to Wadhawan brothers during lockdown, has been appointed as the Pune Police Commissioner.
They also discussed the Centre’s move to offer options for GST relief while citing pressure on payment of compensation. The state government has been pursuing for the clearance of GST dues worth Rs 22,534 crore.