The Congress on Wednesday demanded that a police case be registered to probe reports that a Shiv Sena MLA sent another person as his substitute to take part in Sena’s farmer outreach programme in Marathwada. A Marathi news channel had last week claimed that Gautam Chabukswar, the Sena MLA from Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune, skipped the party’s ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ in Marathwada as he was travelling in north India. However, he sent Yashodhar Phanase, a former corporator, to Osmanabad district (assigned to him by the party for the campaign) as his substitute. Phanase was introduced as the MLA during the tour, the report claimed.
However, both Chabukswar and Phanase had denied the allegations.
Referring to the reports, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on Wednesday said that the police should suo moto (on its own) take note of the matter and file a cheating case against the Sena for sending a “dummy” MLA to Osmanabad.
He was talking to reporters here during the launch of the fourth phase of the Opposition’s ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ which covers the Konkan region.
Referring to the BJP’s ‘Sanvad Yatra’ and the Sena’s ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’, he expressed surprise that instead of announcing a loan waiver for farmers, the leaders of both the ruling parties were taking out the campaigns.
He said that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray two days back said in Akola that “if there is corruption in the Jalyukt Shivar Yojna, what is the difference between this scheme and the irrigation scams (under Congress-NCP government)?”
Uddhav had also said that there should be an inquiry into the work done under the Jalyukt Shivar scheme.
Vikhe Patil said, “You (Sena) too are in government. If you think there are dacoits in the government, why don’t you quit?”
He said unless the Shiv Sena doesn’t pull out its ministers from the government on the issue of farm loan waiver, people will not trust the party.
The Congress leader also asked the BJP-led government to clarify its stand on the alleged “derogatory” comments of state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve against the farmers.
On the state government calling a three-day special session to pass the GST bill from May 20, he said, “We had requested the Governor to direct the Centre for a special session to discuss the farm crisis and that the government announce a farm loan waiver.”
“Even Shiv Sena made a similar demand but there is no response yet,” Vikhe Patil said.
Criticising the government’s demonetisation decision, he claimed that the RBI is not aware how much black money has been unearthed.
“Leave aside the black money, even the hard earned white money of the common man is lost. There is no cash in the ATMs,” he said.
Apart from Vikhe Patil, Leader of Opposition in state Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare, and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan were present at the launch of the fourth phase the ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ at Mahad in Raigad district.
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane is slated to join the campaign in Chiplun while his son and MLA Nitesh Rane is coordinating the arrangements in Sindhudurg district.
The yatra will conclude at Sawantwadi in Sindhudurg district on Thursday.