THE Congress put up an impressive show at Chanda Club ground in Chandrapur, where thousands attended its Janakrosh rally on Monday to highlight the “failures” of the state and central governments. The turnout prompted Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan to publicly praise Brahmapuri Congress MLA and former minister Vijay Wadettiwar for successfully organising the event. Wadettiwar is vice-president of the MPCC.
At another venue, Indira Gandhi Modern School, a parallel programme was organised by former Chandrapur MP and AICC member Naresh Pugalia, which was attended by former ministers Satish Chaturvedi, Anees Ahmed, Nitin Raut and Vasant Purke. Compared to the MPCC rally, however, it turned out to be a small draw. The leaders, however, did take swipes at the MPCC leadership along with criticising the state and central governments.
The parallel rally was earlier planned adjacent to the MPCC rally venue but the police had asked the organisers to shift it elsewhere.
At the main event, Chavan and the party’s state in-charge Mohan Prakash called for registration of offences against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for farmers’ suicides “due to delay in providing loan waiver”. While Chavan called for abetment to suicide offence, Prakash said they should be tried for murder of farmers.
Prakash said, “The UP government suspended a railway station master following an attack by a bull on Hema Malini but the state government has taken no action against anyone despite over 25 farmers dying due to pesticide inhalation in Vidarbha. Late PM Indira Gandhi opened the doors of banking to ordinary citizens by nationalisation of banks but the current PM is distributing money to his industrialist friends through the same banks.”
Chavan said, “Despite four months having elapsed after the loan waiver announcement, the Fadnavis government hasn’t given anything to farmers. Earlier, as Opposition leader, he would call for registration of murder offences against the state government in farmer suicide cases. He should now at least register a case of abetment to suicide against himself when farmers are committing suicide due to loan waiver failure.”
Chavan added, “Looking at the response to the rally, the people are sure to defeat the BJP in the state as well as the Centre and the Congress will come back to power.”
At the parallel rally, Pugalia taunted Chavan saying, “We have worked with his father late Shankarrao Chavan. So he is like a son to me. So he should not teach us anything. As mandated by party chief Sonia Gandhi, he should take all partymen along to unitedly fight the BJP in 2019.”
Other leaders at the Pugalia-led rally echoed his sentiments and called for giving the “original loyalists” their due in the party.