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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena has communalised Parbhani, says CPI’s Rajan Kshirsagar

One of only two Communist Party of India (CPI) candidates in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections, Rajan Kshirsagar is confident that the Shiv Sena will be defeated in Parbhani this time.

Rajan Kshirsagar (right) during campaigning. (Express photo: Amit Chakravarty)

One of only two Communist Party of India (CPI) candidates in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections, Rajan Kshirsagar is confident that the Shiv Sena will be defeated in Parbhani this time. “The Sena will lose, and it will be because of me,” Kshirsagar tells The Indian Express in an interview.

What is your main poll pitch to voters?

Parbhani is among the worst drought-affected districts and yet, as per central government’s norms, it was not declared drought hit. The state government then had to change the norms and finally included Parbhani among those affected by the water scarcity and drought this year. But while relief measures should have been in place from November 1, even today, no fodder camp has been started in the district. Other drought relief measures, such as waiving of exam fees in these areas, not disconnecting farm electricity connections, foodgrain at subsidised rates — nothing has been done yet. On crop insurance, the private insurer collected Rs 288 crore from soyabean farmers and disbursed only Rs 36 crore in payouts despite largescale crop destruction. Crop insurance seems designed for private companies to reap profits from poor farmers.

What other issues is your campaign focusing on?

In some areas, people are not getting NREGA works because they are CPI supporters. In Mantha, four of our men were beaten up. This is their ‘dabaav ki rajneeti’ or pressure politics, which we are fighting tooth and nail. We are also drawing attention of voters to the opportunistic politics of these parties. In Parbhani, Congress and BJP are allies in the municipality and in the panchayat samiti… what happens nowhere else is true in Parbhani. We should expose this opportunistic politics.

You are also speaking about water management.

Mismanagement of water is a huge issue. Drought is a natural calamity but the discrimination against Marathwada in terms of water sharing is a socio-political one. Parbhani has the most irrigation command area of Jayakwadi dam, but water is never given to the district as per the order. A 2014 MWRRA (Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority) order gave 12.84 TMC of water from upper dams to Jayakwadi. This year, 10.5 TMC was released but less than 5 TMC reached Jayakwadi. I am demanding a tripartite agreement between Marathwada-Nagar/Nashik and the state government for assured water to the command areas of Jayakwadi. After all, taxes are collected from farmers in the command area.

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Is that enough to defeat the Sena in Parbhani?

The Sena will lose and it will be because of me. The people’s anger will translate into their voting behaviour. Parbhani has had a Sena MP seven times, but always supported by the Congress or NCP openly or quietly. The Sena has communalised Parbhani. A Sena MLA claimed 1,000 youngsters from Parbhani joined ISIS. But this time, the Sena will lose. The Left will be in the forefront of the defence of secularism — all others have at some time or the other tied up with the BJP.

 

First published on: 31-03-2019 at 03:34:24 am
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