BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government of not letting the Maratha community protest in the state and likened the government’s actions to the imposition of Emergency.
On Sunday, Fadnavis accused the Maharashtra government of imposing an "undeclared Emergency" and criticised the Uddhav Thackeray-led regime for "going after" Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and actress Kanagana Ranaut.
Reacting to it, Thackeray on Sunday said, "If Fadnavis says the state government taking action against its critics is like declaring undeclared emergency, then labelling farmers who are fighting for their rights as anti-nationals is worse than Emergency."
When asked about Thackeray’s remark, Fadnavis, who is leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, told reporters outside the Legislature building in Mumbai on Monday, "The chief minister should speak on Maharashtra first."
Fadnavis alleged that the Marathas are not being allowed to protest over the quota issue. The protesters are being beaten inside their homes and also being jailed, he claimed without specifying any incident. "Such an Emergency has been imposed in Maharashtra that Marathas are not even allowed to protest. He (CM) is not speaking about it," the former state chief minister said.
The Supreme Court in September this year stayed the implementation of a 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed benefits will not be disturbed.
Later, members of some pro-Maratha outfits staged protests in various parts of Maharashtra.
Fadnavis alleged the state government has not offered "even a single penny" to farmers hit by floods and cyclone earlier this year, despite making promises about it. "He (Thackeray) speaks about what happened in the US, Russia or Delhi. Speak about what you have done in Maharashtra. The situation in Maharashtra is so bad," he said.
Fadnavis claimed Maharashtra ministers will get "exposed" if they speak on their performance in the state. "Hence, they are speaking about what's happening in Delhi. Agitations occur in Delhi every day, nobody has stopped the protesters," he said, seeking to underscore the difference between the Maharashtra government and the BJP-led regime at the Centre.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine