PUNE: Announcing his irrevocable support to the demand of Maratha reservation, OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal shared that he left Shiv Sena on the issue of Maratha reservation and joined former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He added, “How can I leave NCP now?”
Bhujbal’s speech during the concluding ceremony of the western leg of Halla Bol rally held in Pune on Sunday put the round of discussion to rest for the time being whether he will cross over and join hands with the opposition. Bhujbal, who is considered to be an important OBC leader, said, “The Maratha community is like an elder brother and all others are younger brothers.” His comment shows that OBC community would not stall the demand for Maratha reservations.
Meanwhile, Bhujbal claimed that he would prove his innocence soon. He added that ruling party launched an attack against him 2.5 years back. Speaking about his arrest in disproportionate asset case, he said, “I have been charged with corruption worth Rs 850 crore for the project of Rs 350 crore.”
Claiming that he did not appoint a contractor to build the Maharashtra Sadan, he said that the contractor got development rights with the help of then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Bhujbal claimed that he had made a remark in his report to float a tender for building homes where FSI was not measured and that he was informed by officers that SRA tender cannot be issued as people chose the contractor.
Clearing the air about his alleged strained relationship with Pawar, Bhujbal said that people alleged that Pawar did not come to see him, but shared that his family was in touch with Pawar and met him on a weekly basis. He added that NCP supremo himself called the family to enquire about their well-being if they missed the weekly meeting.
NCP leader Dhananjay Munde and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar attacked Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for visiting actress Madhuri Dixit in Mumbai but giving a miss to a programme organised in Raigad to mark the 345th anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation. Munde said, “If they go to Madhuri, we will go to ‘Majdoor’ or labourers.”
He claimed that the ruling party is misusing national icons and also issues like reservation. He shared that no community has been given what was promised to them.
Ajit Pawar claimed that the win in Bhandra-Gondia bypoll is enough evidence of how people are disappointed by the present government. Ajit Pawar criticised Fadnavis for planning a foreign tour when he claimed CM’s presence was required in the State to ensure arrangements for sowing season.