The assertion of the Marathas was countered by the Dalits who felt their service to Sambhaji was being undermined. The Dalit villagers tried to assert their claim pointing to the memorial of Gantap Gaikwad.
"Babasaheb Ambedkar never promoted narrow and partisan caste- and community-based politics. He was not against the Brahmins. His protest was against the dogmas and rituals which were discriminatory and caste-driven,” said Ramdas Athawale.
Fadnavis said, “There was no intelligence failure in Bhima Koregaon. While the overall developments leading to the attack on Dalits and violence on streets deserve strongest condemnation and investigation, it cannot be solely subscribed as an outcome of lapses in intelligence gathering.”
Prakash Ambedkar’s success in bringing Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra to a virtual standstill has been an outcome of meticulous planning to consolidate the Dalit/OBC forces against the Marathas. The Bhima Koregaon incident provided a trigger.
Maharashtra bandh: The Bhima Koregaon incident, which has led to a renewed assertion by Dalits in Maharashtra, could have a deeper political impact in the run-up to 2019 Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections.
The distressed districts, which have reported highest number of farmers suicides in last 15 years, have plenty of water but lack of infrastructure to channelise the water to the farmers’ fields. As a result, farmers’ income does not commensurate with the target set by the government.
Devendra Fadnavis said, “The process to compile the list of individuals who served imprisonment during Emergency will be done across Maharashtra. They would be accorded honour and dignity as freedom fighter.”
Maharashtra had to fend off fierce competition from Andhra Pradesh to bag the project. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had offered free land along with a slew of incentives to bag the project.
“If Pakistan sugar comes to India, it will badly affect the domestic market. Kolkata was the biggest sugar market. But over the years Uttar Pradesh has also made inroads in Kolkata,” said senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar
An NCP source said, “The biggest challenge for our leadership is to dispel the notion we are the B team of the BJP. Ten Congress and NCP MLAs voting for the BJP candidate in the state legislative council poll has dented the Opposition unity.”
The report pointed out to the shrinkage of groundwater at the biggest dam in the state, Jayakwadi in Marathwada, attributed to over-exploitation of water through new projects over the last six decades. The report had recommended a ban on new irrigation projects upstream Jayakwadi dam.
According to sources, though the mechanism of determining the MSP for farm produce was the Centre’s prerogative, the Maharashtra government’s initiative aimed to arrest the exploitation of farmers by traders who are often found to manipulate the markets.