Congress leaders give Sonia Gandhi’s letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray
Days after Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, expressing unhappiness over alleged non-utilisation and diversion of funds allocated for welfare of the socially backward classes in the state, a delegation of senior Congress ministers and leaders met Thackeray on Monday to hand over its copy and requested him to act on the suggestions.
State Congress chief and state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said the Congress chief has made important suggestions regarding the welfare schemes for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), as the party has always worked to give justice to them. He also said the chief minister responded positively.
In her letter to Thackeray, Gandhi has advised the chief minister to ensure that the budget allocated for the SC and ST communities should be used for the same purpose. HK Patil, Maharashtra in-charge of the Congress, recently said the party had organised a conclave of leaders from socially backward classes, in which some problems were raised and suggestions were made. “The party chief specifically mentioned these issues, so that these sections could be protected from administrative lapses,” he said.
For the first time since the government of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi – alliance of the Congress, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – came to power a year ago, the Congress chief has expressed her discontent and it would be interesting to see if this will continue as the three-party government has completed just one year, said observers. “The party has got many complaints over diversion of funds meant for socially backward classes. The chief minister has assured us appropriate action in the matter. He also confirmed that he got the letter through a mail on Sunday,” said a senior Congress leader, who was part of the delegation.
State energy minister Nitin Raut said the Congress president has expressed her concern and not unhappiness. “It is nothing but a misunderstanding that the Congress chief has expressed her unhappiness. She has only expressed her concern on a serious issue which needs to be treated as guidance for the MVA government as she is also elder to the chief minister. She has been writing such letters to the chief ministers of other states too on important issues that are brought to her notice,” Raut said.
Thorat also said just like NCP president Sharad Pawar, the Congress president too is guiding the government. Even if no meeting is being held, this letter is a channel of communication with the chief minister. “Our alliance is strong and the state government is working on a common minimum programme. The coordination between the three parties is also good and the credit for it goes to all of them,” Thorat said.