Maharashtra Minister for Employment Guarantee Scheme Nitin Raut today defended the boycott of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two functions here by the Democratic Front government and described Centre's attitude as "assault on federal structure" of the country.
The district guardian minister who was supposed to share dias with Modi at Nagpur Metro Rail project at Kasturchand Park ground yesterday, said that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were justified in boycotting the function.
Raut said since state government and Centre share 20 per cent of the cost of Nagpur Metro Rail corridor, Chavan should have been taken into confidence for hosting a function here.
Referring to the hooting incident at Solapur where Chavan shared the dias with the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Raut said, "It was an assault on the federal structure. It requires mutual respect for each other. The way Chavan was hooted in a function in Solapur, he did not like and thought fit not to sit with him (Modi) in Nagpur," Raut told reporters.
"You can't take credit for the Metro since the state government also expedited the paper work for clearances in Delhi," he added.
Raut threatened to go ahead with launching the Pune Metro Rail project without waiting for Centre's participation.