Maharashtra Revenue and PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil Saturday supported RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s purported statement calling for periodic review of reservation system saying, “review was advocated by Babasaheb Ambedkar himself and review doesn’t mean scrapping of reservation.”
Patil was talking to reporters in Nagpur at the ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by Patrakar Club of Nagpur.
When asked if he supported Bhagwat call for review as reported in a section of media, Patil said, “I haven’t seen what Bhagwat has said but it was Ambedkar himself who had called for a periodic review of reservation policy. Bhagwat has only echoed that. By review, he definitely doesn’t mean scrapping of reservation.”
Patil added: “It is time we assessed if the benefits are reaching the targeted people equitably or only to few while a large section of it has remained deprived.”
Patil, who was in the city for the first time after taking over as state BJP chief, attended a Vidarbha-level co-ordination meeting of the Sangh Parivar held in Nagpur.
About seat-sharing with Shiv Sena for the forthcoming Assembly elections, Patil said, “It will be difficult for the BJP to stick to the old 135-135 seats formula with 18 seats for allies since we already have 122 elected members, four that have come to us from Congress and six supporting Independents. It makes our tally 132. I hope Sena also understand our position in this regard.”
Patil, however, stressed that the BJP was all for an alliance with Sena and seat-sharing talks would begin after Ganesh Chaturthi.
Patil refuted the Opposition’s allegation that the government was using agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for settling scores with the opponents when asked about the ED probe against MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
“The ED and IT Department have to do investigations for a long time before and they don’t act overnight. Central agencies are autonomous and do their homework before acting against anyone,” Patil said.
Patil further asked, “If some people, who were riding a scooter 25 years ago, today own assets worth over Rs 500 crore, shouldn’t they be enquired against.”
About action against former deputy CM Ajit Pawar, he said the Bombay High Court had directed that a FIR be filed against him within a week in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam.
About whether he was in the race for the next chief minister of the state, Patil cryptically quipped, “CM is from Nagpur.”