Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting on Monday of his party’s ministerial nominees in the MVA government to discuss the recent political developments, in view of the cracks that have surfaced in the Maha Vikas Aghadi over handing over of the Elgar Parishad case to the NIA and the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Population Register.
The NCP and the Congress have taken a strong objection to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s support for the CAA and his decision to hand over the Elgar Parishad case to the NIA.
Pawar, who had demanded a fresh probe by a special investigation team into the Bhima Koregaon violence and the Elgar Parishad case, said, ‘’It was not right for the Centre to hand over the investigation into the case to the NIA. But it was even more wrong for the state government to support the transfer of the case."
Pawar further said that notwithstanding NIA’s entry, the state government has powers to set up SIT to probe the arrests of the nine activists and the subsequent investigations by Pune Police. He also demanded suspension of the errant police personnel.
Incidentally, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who had objected to the handover of the probe to the NIA, was overruled by Thackeray; he too has said that the state government can institute its own inquiry.
NCP minister and party spokesman Nawab Malik confirmed that a meeting has been convened. ‘’A host of issues will come up for discussion,’’ he noted. However, he declined to divulge details.
NCP and Congress have also come out in public against Thackeray’s meeting last week on the preparation of the door-to-door enumeration process under the National Population Register, which is being looked as the leading component of the entire citizenship exercise.
Despite these objections, Thackeray on Saturday, in the presence of Pawar at a farmers rally in Jalgaon district, declared that ‘’all is well’’ in the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Monday’s meeting will coincide with the BJP’s move to launch a state wide agitation against the MVA government. The BJP, which has been repeatedly making statements questioning the survival of MVA government, has now decided to work as a strong opposition, after Thackeray dared the BJP to topple the government.
Pawar will also review the functioning of the party ministers and their preparation for the ensuing budget session of the state legislature beginning February 24.
Some of the key issues relating to crop loan waiver, the Congress party’s proposal for providing free power to consumers using 100 units, extending the tenure of the various development boards and completion of pending irrigation projects will be also discussed at Monday’s meeting.