Deputy chief mister Ajit Pawar.(PTI)
Deputy chief mister Ajit Pawar.(PTI)

Ajit Pawar must respond to allegations of unequal distribution of development funds: Sena corners deputy CM

In the past, Shiv Sena legislators have also voiced their disappointment over the unavailability of funds for their constituencies
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Swapnil Rawal
UPDATED ON AUG 25, 2020 05:25 PM IST

In a move to corner Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on the issue of unequal distribution of development funds, the Shiv Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, said that the state finance minister must respond to the allegations of Congress legislators.

In the past, Shiv Sena legislators have also voiced their disappointment to chief minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over the unavailability of funds for their constituencies. They have alleged that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators get priority over legislators of the two other parties (Shiv Sena and the Congress) that are part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sena MP and Saamana editor Sanjay Raut told reporters that though Pawar is the finance minister, the three parties of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi can sit together to resolve the issue. Raut said that earlier, Thorat and senior Congress minister Ashok Chavan spoke to the chief minister about the distribution of funds.

“Maharashtra Congress chief and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat called me and said that Congress MLAs are unhappy with the unequal distribution of funds. He said that it is important that funds are distributed equally, as this is a three-party government. I think the stand he has taken is appropriate. At the end of the day, when a legislator develops his constituency, it leads to the development of the State… at the end the three parties will meet and find a solution,” Raut told reporters.

In an editorial in Saamana, the party had said, “Congress [leaders] say that NCP gets more importance in the government and that NCP has taken more of the development funds. What do we say on this? Finance minister Ajit Pawar alone can respond to these allegations.”

Congress’ Jalna MLA Kailash Gorantyal has threatened to go on a hunger strike over constituency development funds. He has claimed that he has the support of 10 other Congress legislators, who he has not named. He added that Congress constituencies are given a step-motherly treatment in the distribution of funds. However, Pawar reportedly spoke to Gorantyal on Tuesday and the legislator has decided to call off his protest.

The Sena, however, took a dim view of the 11 Congress legislators from Maharashtra protesting against the government and said that it is akin to raising questions against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who supported the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. The Sena, in the editorial, said there is “instability and unease” within the Congress, but it needs to play the role of an active opposition party. The editorial in the Marathi daily said that the MVA government will complete its full five-year term, and the opposition party in Maharashtra need not rejoice over the display of resentment.

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