A video of PWD Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan purportedly saying that his party joined the Shiv Sena-led government on “insistence” of the “Muslim community” to stop the BJP from returning to power has gone viral on social media.
Chavan Tuesday said he meant “pressure from all communities, including Muslims” in his speech. The remarks were purportedly made while he was addressing a rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Nanded recently.
In the purported video, Chavan is heard saying in Hindi:“We have a (coalition) government in place in the state. The Congress decided to join the government to avoid the (repeat of) losses the state had suffered in the last five years (when the BJP was in power). Our Muslim brothers also insisted that we join the government to keep the biggest enemy, the BJP, away from power.”
On Tuesday, Chavan told mediapersons: “What I meant was that Congress was under pressure from all communities, including Muslims, to form the government to keep BJP away. Where is the question of appeasement?”
Chavan, who had served as a chief minister of Maharashtra from December 2008 to November 2010, also said the new citizenship law will not be implemented in the state as long as the current dispensation is at the helm. “During the rally (in Nanded), my emphasis was against CAA. I assured the people that the government will not allow the implementation of CAA in Maharashtra. We cannot accept a law, which is against the Constitution and takes away a section’s citizenship,” he added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines