Centre wouldn’t have repealed farm laws if no polls in UP, states: Pawar
PUNE Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, on Wednesday, alleged that the Narendra Modi government would not have decided to repeal the three contentious farm laws if there were no elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states in the near future.
Earlier last week, Modi made an announcement about withdrawing the three agricultural laws, which drew strident protests at Delhi’s borders and elsewhere.
To a question on whether the PM’s move was politically aimed, Pawar said the move was announced in view of upcoming elections in UP and other neighbouring states.
“There are elections in UP and other neighbouring states. As per our information, the people in power, when they visited the villages in some parts of these states, they got some different kind of reception from the locals. Considering this, they might have sensed what kind of treatment they will get when they go to seek votes. It seems that on that backdrop, this practical decision was taken,” he said.
“If there were no elections in these states in the near future, this decision would not have been taken,” he added.
On a query about the actions taken by the central agencies in Maharashtra, Pawar said it is not a new thing. “I recently met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. There are six to seven ministers from her government who are currently being harassed by the central agencies. I am going to meet her in Mumbai in the next few days.”
He added that the BJP government at the Centre has taken a stand to “harass” non-BJP states by using agencies and the same is being witnessed in Maharashtra.
“Let them conduct inquiries. Nothing will come out. This is the finest example of the misuse of power by the people in power,” he added.
Asked about former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh submitting in the court through his lawyer that there was a threat to his life in Maharashtra, Pawar said that he was shocked after reading it.
“What to say, if a person who worked on several key positions in Maharashtra police department is scared of his colleagues and the state police,” he added. On Monday, Singh’s lawyer told the Supreme Court that the IPS officer was in hiding as he faced threat to his life if he returns to Maharashtra.
Issuing a notice to the CBI and the Maharashtra government on Singh’s plea that the entire matter involving him and the former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh should be investigated by the CBI, the apex court protected him from arrest in criminal cases lodged against him in the state.
Why MSRTC problems don’t add up
On the strike by MSRTC employees, Sharad Pawar said the financial condition of the corporation is bad. He said the salaries given to their respective transport utility employees by states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana - were compared and during the comparison, it was found that the salaries given by Gujarat are lower than those given in Maharashtra; whereas all other states pay wages higher than Maharashtra. Pawar said he has come to know that the state government has taken a positive decision to end the ongoing stalemate.
Asked about the involvement of political parties in the agitation, Pawar said that when a group of people go on a strike or hit the streets for some demands, it is an opportunity for the opposition to see if they can add more fuel to that agitation.
On the defeat of NCP leader and MLC Shashikant Shinde in the Satara District Central Cooperative Bank elections and the subsequent stone-pelting by his followers at the NCP office in Satara on Tuesday, Pawar said Shinde took the elections “lightly”.