Jarange-Patil warned by CM, Ajit Pawar hints at invisible hand behind him | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Jarange-Patil warned by CM, Ajit Pawar hints at invisible hand behind him

Feb 26, 2024 07:26 AM IST

Maharashtra govt warns Maratha activist not to cross limits after he accuses deputy CM Fadnavis of trying to kill him. Govt vows to take action.

MUMBAI: Taking serious note of Maratha activist Manoj Jarange-Patil’s statement that deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis was out to kill him, the state government has warned the activist not to “cross his limits”. It also announced that there was clearly somebody behind Jarange-Patil’s utterances, and appropriate steps would be taken against that entity.

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Chief minister Eknath Shinde held an urgent meeting on Sunday before the scheduled cabinet meeting on the eve of the interim budget, to discuss the stand taken by Jarange-Patil. The CM and his deputies decided not to tolerate the allegations and the adamant stand adopted by the Maratha activist despite their having taken every step to please him. This was evident in their media interaction later, where they unanimously warned him not to cross his limits and politicise the issue.

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Addressing a media conference on Sunday evening, deputy CM Ajit Pawar hinted at a force working behind Jarange-Patil. “They should not be under the impression that we will tolerate such attempts to disturb law and order in the state,” he said. “We will find out who is behind this and take appropriate action against them.”

Chief minister Eknath Shinde said that the government had responded positively to Jarange-Patil but he had kept changing his demands. “I met him twice, as I believed he was fighting for the Maratha cause sincerely,” he said. “But now he has started speaking the language of politics and abusing me and the deputy CMs. If anybody assumes that we do not know anything, they are mistaken. The government and home department are closely monitoring these developments. We will not tolerate and pardon the people behind these destabilising activities.”

Fadnavis dubbed Jarange-Patil’s allegations as “baseless”, saying that the entire Maratha community knew what he had done for it on the reservation front in 2018. “What Jarange-Patil is speaking today is the language spoken by Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar in the past,” he said. “We certainly know a few things and they will come out at the appropriate time.”

The ruling alliance also hit out at the opposition combine for its decision to boycott the government’s customary tea party on the eve of the legislative session. “The opposition has not been able to digest our all-round performance,” said Shinde. “We have distributed aid of 45,000 crore to farmers in the last 19 months, the state is again at the top position in Foreign Direct Investment, and infrastructure projects of over 8 lakh crore are underway. We have been working in the interest of every element of society. We were expecting the opposition to participate in discussions on various issues during the tea party.”

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) announced a boycott of the tea party on the eve of the vote-on-account session beginning from Monday. “The government has been encouraging criminals, politicising crime, and has once again has cheated the Maratha community by giving reservation that will not survive in court,” said Vijay Wadettiwar, leader of the opposition in the assembly. “It has created a rift between communities and is uninterested in the problems faced by farmers and common citizens. We do not want to be partners in their sins by joining the tea party.”

Thackeray faction MLC Ambadas Danve, Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh were present on the dais for the conference held after their joint meeting. Danve demanded an inquiry into the allegations levelled by Jarange-Patil against Fadnavis. “We will raise various issues, including the shifting of Mahanand Dairy to Gujarat, the goonda raj prevailing in the state, inflation, unemployment, and law and order in the five-day session,” he said.

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    Surendra P Gangan is Senior Assistant Editor with political bureau of Hindustan Times’ Mumbai Edition. He covers state politics and Maharashtra government’s administrative stories. Reports on the developments in finances, agriculture, social sectors among others.

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