Accusing it of governing the country in “Tughlaqi style”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday took on the Centre over its handling of the farmers’ protest while stating that it is not in “our culture to call the food providers of our country anti-nationals and terrorists”.
Maintaining that the country could not be run through unreasonable diktats, Uddhav told mediapersons: “The BJP claims that there is an undeclared Emergency in Maharashtra. If that is so, then this country is at present under a declared Emergency. The farmers are protesting for their rightful demands. But rather than holding dialogues and understanding their plight, they have to protest in the cold wave and water cannons are being used on them. What is happening reflects theinconsideration of the government.”
He was speaking to mediapersons in Mumbai on the eve of the two-day Winter Session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly that starts on Monday.
Taking exception to the protesters being called anti-nationals, he said: “It is not in our culture to call the food providers of our country anti-nationals and terrorists. The Centre has been importing onions and sugar from Pakistan. I want to ask whether it now wants to import farmers from Pakistan or start doling out certificates on who are Pakistanis and who are not. Governing this country in this Tughlaqi style will not be tolerated by the citizens of this country.”
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“If farmers feel that these laws are not in their interest, are you going to put them in jail only because they do not agree to your point of view? That is how the Centre seems to be behaving. If somebody speaks for the rightful demands of the farmers and labourers, then they are labelled anti-nationals.”
“The BJP has said that Maharashtra is under Emergency because some people were put in jail. However, what the Centre is doing is a sin that is worse than Emergency… where it is calling farmers, who are protesting for their rightful demands, anti-nationals,” Thackeray added.
On the implementation of the new farm laws in Maharashtra, Thackeray said the state government would not take any decision that will go against farmers’ interests.
On Opposition’s allegations of the government not doing any work and people being unhappy, Thackeray said, “The Opposition was busy trying to find an auspicious time for my government to collapse. They were busy plotting for the last one year and may not have noticed the kind of development work done by our government.”
Coming out in support of Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that in the recently-held Legislative Council elections, the educated class, such as teachers and graduates, had voted for Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates and made them win by huge margins, which the BJP had not secured in the last 50 to 60 years.
“If the government was at any fault, the people would not have voted for us. Today, too, there are around Rs 28,000 crore GST compensation and tax devolution money pending with the Centre. The Centre, which came up with ‘One Nation, One Tax’ policy, is not following it now.”
“In the last one year, we have faced several natural calamities, including Nisarg cyclone and floods, and we are still fighting many issues, including Covid-19. The Opposition is demoralised after the Legislative Council election results,” Pawar added.
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