Fissures emerge in Maharashtra as Raju Shetti hits out at NCP over MLC names
The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) ties with the Swabhimani Paksha, led by Raju Shetti, appear to be souring, with Shetti saying on Saturday that it was up to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to fulfill the promise of giving one seat in the state legislative council to his party “or stab him in the back”.
In response, NCP chief Sharad Pawar expressed surprise and rejected the speculation that the MVA has requested governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to drop Shetti’s name from the list of 12 people recommended to be appointed as MLC. The NCP is one of the allies in the MVA government along with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
“The decision has to be taken by the NCP over fulfilling the promise or stab (me) in the back. I don’t care. I didn’t go to them begging for the position. I am in no position for the last over two years but respect for me among the people has not reduced. I will do a correct program at an appropriate time,” Shetti said on Saturday. The term “correct program” was used by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis at a rally for dislodging the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government in the state.
Shetti is considered a strong farmer leader with good grassroots support. He is currently holding a five-day long march against the MVA government, demanding more relief to the people affected by flooding.
“Based on his contribution in the field of agriculture and cooperation, Raju Shetti’s name was part of the list submitted to the governor by CM and deputy CM. The decision (to appoint him as a MLC) was taken by us but the final decision has to be made by the governor. I am surprised how come he can make such a statement. We have honestly done our work. I have fulfilled the promise made (to him) and am waiting for the governor’s decision,” Pawar said, responding to remarks by the Swabhimani Paksha leader.