Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday pointed a finger at chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and held him responsible for failing to break the logjam between traders and the state over the implementation of local body tax (LBT).
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik blamed Chavan for ignoring the party’s request to call a meeting of the coordination committee, made up of top brass of both parties to discuss and resolve the issue.
The protest by traders against LBT has been on for the last fortnight, with a section of traders continuing their strike, thus inconveniencing citizens.
The stand-off has now taken a political twist with BJP batting for traders and the Congress, under Chavan, staying firm on the new tax regime.
“Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and NCP state president Madhukar Pichad had written to the chief minister 10 ago, asking him to call a meeting of the coordination committee and to set up a committee of senior ministers to hold discussions with traders. But, has been no response from the CM,” said Malik.
Although the CM has set up a committee under chief secretary JK Banthia, Malik said everything could not be left at the discretion of bureaucrats since the issue now had a political context.
Further, he also slammed the BJP, while pointing out that small traders were being forced to participate in the bandh and that traders affiliated with BJP were leading this agitation. NCP also criticised BJP for being hypocritical, since in the past BJP had called for scrapping of octroi and implementation of LBT as an alternative.