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Maharashtra CM vows stable govt till 2019, Shiv Sena tries to unsettle it

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said his party has started preparations for the next election and hopes to at least double its strength of elected representatives. The party currently has 63 legislators in the state assembly and 18 parliamentarians

mumbai Updated: Aug 19, 2017 01:40 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,Mumbai,BJP
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at a rally on the last day of campaigning for the civic polls in Bhayander, on Thursday.(HT photo)

A day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis dismissed the possibility of the BJP-led Maharashtra government becoming unstable in an apparent dig at the Shiv Sena, the Sena stepped up its aggression, targeting the government on a range of issues from the farm loan waiver to the country’s security.

After the party’s internal meeting at its headquarters, Shiv Sena Bhavan, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, “On the one hand, we are hearing about the number of farmers who have so far applied and been declared eligible for a loan waiver, and on the other hand we are hearing that a large number of farmers having committed suicide. Why are farmers committing suicide if the government is really trying to help them? This should be clarified. Assure us that farmers are really being made debt-free.”

He reiterated his demand of getting a full list of all 89 lakh farmers who are to benefit from the BJP-led government’s promised Rs34,022-crore loan waiver, along with their addresses. Thackeray also criticised Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who left the post of the defence minister earlier this year, to take charge of the government at Goa, for reportedly saying he would go back to the Union defence ministry if the BJP loses an upcoming by-election in Goa. “Amid clouds of war with China on one side and Pakistan on the other, it is treachery with the country if he is making such statements and playing with the defence ministry, jumping from the Centre to the state depending on whether the party wins certain elections,” Thackeray said.

He also said his party has started preparations for the next election and hopes to at least double its strength of elected representatives. The party currently has 63 legislators in the state assembly and 18 parliamentarians. He appointed Sena MP Sanjay Raut to lead preparations in North Maharashtra, Diwakar Raote in Vidarbha, Subhash Desai in the Konkan region, Ramdas Kadam in Marathwada and Gajanan Kirtikar in the Satara, Sangli and Solapur districts.

At the BJP’s executive body meeting on Thursday, Fadnavis sent a loud and clear message that he will stay as the chief minister and dismissed any concerns of there being instability in the government, assuring that the next election will not be before 2019.

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 01:40 IST