Nagpur: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar arrived in Nagpur on Thursday on a two-day whirlwind tour of Vidarbha aimed at strengthening the party in the city as well as region.
Pawar participated and addressed a meeting of party workers in the city. He launched a blistering attack on Central Government amidst the hot debate over surgical strikes on terror camps in Pak-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). “Safety and security of the country is religion (duty) of Indian Armed Forces. The Prime Minister and Army deserve accolades for the surgical strikes. But ‘chest thumping’ is not done over such actions. I was myself Defence Minister and the government led by Dr Manmohan Singh had conducted such surgical strikes against terrorists who were indulging in militant acts in Nagaland. That time, I and Praful Patel were ministers in the government but had not issued statements after statements (dhindora nahi pita tha) over the surgical strikes conducted four times. NCP never politicizes issues related to national security, the NCP supremo said. He took a dig at the BJP leaders and said “It seems the surgical strikes were conducted by BJP leaders and not the Army.” Pawar further said that despite warning by Prime Minister, the BJP leaders are not restraining themselves and issuing “unnecessary statements after statements over the surgical strikes.
CM should resolve reservation issue through discussions:
As the stand of NCP over the state-wide ‘Muk Morcha’ of Marathas coming under cloud, Pawar clarified that his party is supporting the agitation. “We are not in favour of abolishing Atrocity Act. For those people the Act has been enacted should get benefit of this Act. At the same time, the Act should not be misused and those doing this should face the action. The demand of Marathas for reservation is genuine but the Chief Minister is saying that reservation cannot be given over 50 percent. That is not true. 75 percent reservation is being given in Tamilnadu. Instead of sidelining the issue, the Chief Minister should initiate talks with all parties concerned and find an answer. The Chief Minister had assured to file chargesheet in Kopardi incident within a month but nothing has been done even after three months. Moreover the CM is questioning the demand of Marathas for reservation. Every political party has to face elections after five years. Today we are displaced, tomorrow they will be displaced. By calling us displaced the CM is sidelining the main issue. But he has to understand who is “placed”. “Placed” is Class-I officer who remains in the same position till 60 years of age. ‘Placed’ are those who are ‘stable’ in their lives. Farmer is displaced, hence he has reservation demand. Mahatma Fule had called Shivaji Maharaj the King of Kunbi Samaj. Today, Kunbi Samaj is fighting for its rights. Fighting for education rights,” Pawar asserted.
“The Chief Minister is taking a swipe on us and asking what we had done when in power. But they are forgetting that the dejected people can hit the streets and throw them out of power. People were happy during our rule. Today they are not. Hence are on the roads. Blaming each other will not resolve the issue. A way has to be found by talking to all concerned,” Pawar advised.
Development at the expense of farmers not accepted:
The NCP President also raised a question over the manner in which land is being acquisitioned for the ambitious Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway. “The farmers should get compensation in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act. The idea of Government becoming partner is not feasible. If farmers handover their land for the project and the project is completed in 20 years, then how will they feed their families. We are in favour of development and the farmers will happily cooperate for the development. But we will not accept development at the expense of farmers. Farmers should be capable for economic development but the State and Central Government are trying development by ruining the farmers,” Pawar rued.
Vidarbha State issue:
Clearing his party’s stand over Vidarbha State demand, Pawar said that democracy runs on the participation of people. If people of Vidarbha wants a separate state then we will support the people. But unfortunately, those who came to power on the promise of Vidarbha State are betraying the people. BJP never wanted to create Vidarbha State. The party is only deceiving the people, Pawar stated.
Pics by Roshan Singh