Demanding a “time-bound programme” to resolve the complicated boundary row between his state and Karnataka, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday reiterated his plea to declare the disputed border areas as a Union Territory till the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
“What has happened has happened… Now we have to fight and win… We will have to work for this in a time-bound programme,” said Thackeray, who is also President of the Shiv Sena, which is espousing the cause of the Marathi-speaking people in the border areas since years.
Hie remarks came at the release of book “Maharashtra-Karnataka Seemavad: Sangharsh Ani Sankalp (Maharashtra-Karnataka Boundary Dispute: Struggle & Pledge)”, a 530-page treatise penned by Dr Deepak Pawar.
Present on the occasion were all members of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and representatives of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti – and all raised a united voice on the issue vis-a-vis the neighbouring BJP-ruled Karnataka.
“Though the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, the manner in which the Karnataka (government) is behaving amounts to contempt of court… They have changed the name of Belgaum (to ‘Belagavi’), they have declared it the second capital, constructed a Vidhana Soudha there and held a legislature session,” Thackeray said.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said that the matter is pending before the apex court and all must await its verdict.
“The apex court is the last resort to resolve an issue… we have to put forward our point effectively… The Chief Minister (Thackeray) is personally working on it,” he said.
Among those present or addressed the meeting included Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, state Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Marathi Language Department Minister Subhash Desai, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister of State Dattatray Bharane and BJP’s Leader of Opposition in Council Pravin Darekar, besides other top leaders and officials.
ED quizzes Maharashtra Minister Vishwajeet Kadam’s wife
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is questioning Swapnali Bhosale, wife of Maharashtra Minister Vishwajeet Kadam in connection with its probe in a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case, officials said.
According to senior ED officials, Swapnali joined the financial probe agency investigation on Monday afternoon at its office here.
The ED had summoned Bhosale in the last week of January.
The ED had earlier questioned her mother Gauri Bhosale and brother Amit Bhosale in February this year.
ED sources claimed that her father, a noted businessman of Pune and her family members had sent over Rs 50 crore to London and Dubai to buy some properties there.
Avinash Bhosale was questioned by the ED on November 27 last year for several hours in connection with an old case under the FEMA. The ED had registered a case against Avinash Bhosale under Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA).
Avinash Bhosale is also facing a probe by the Income Tax Department. Last year, the I-T Department had carried out searches at 23 locations in Mumbai and Pune.
Maharashtra Congress ministers protest high fuel prices on bicycles
Adopting a unique approach to highlight the spiralling fuel prices, all Congress Ministers and legislators on Monday took to the roads on bicycles and furiously pedalled to the Maharashtra Legislature on the opening day of the Budget Session, here.
Leading the bicycle rally, state Congress President Nana Patole and city party chief Bhai Jagtap attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre of “looting” the hard-earned money of the people by hiking taxes on fuel which have resulted in zooming prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
“The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made life difficult for the people. Though the prices of crude oil in the international markets is at a record low, the Centre is fleecing the masses by the taxes on fuel,” Patole said.
He said that excluding taxes, petrol costs around Rs 32.72 per litre and diesel Rs 33.46 per litre, but the Centre has imposed excise duties of 820 and 258 per cent respectively which has shot the prices of the two essential fuels to the current exorbitant levels.
Similarly, Jagtap said that the Modi government has “crossed all limits of shamelessness” by another hike of Rs 25 in the price of cooking gas (LPG) to now Rs 825 per cylinder which has created huge distress to the ordinary masses.
Besides, Patole and Jagtap said that Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan rubbed salt on the wounds of the people by claiming that the fuel price hike was due to the winter season.
Demanding that the Central taxes on fuel be rolled back, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the BJP leaders screaming hoarse over the fuel prices hike before 2014, “but today, these same leaders are looting the people blatantly with daily price hikes”.
“The Modi government is deaf and blind to the pain and sufferings of the people. Through this bicycle rally, we are conveying the people’s distress to the Centre and demand that the fuel taxes be removed forthwith,” Thorat said.
After paying homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in south Mumbai, majority of the Congress ministers in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and almost all MLAs and MLCs joined the bicycle rally to the Vidhan Bhavan.
Maharashtra: MPCC expanded, Sanjay Nirupam bounces back
Three weeks after Congress President Sonia Gandhi reshuffled the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), four new vice-presidents and 3 additional Parliamentary Board members were appointed, here on Friday.
They are: Nana Gavande, Sachin Naik, Sanjay Rathod and Charulatha Tokas (MPCC Vice-Presidents), while Eknath Gaikwad, Sanjay Nirupam and Janardhan Chandurkar — all three ex-Mumbai Regional Congress Committee presidents – are named new Members of MPCC Parliamentary Board.
Sulking for nearly two years after he was removed as MRCC President in March 2019, the formidable Nirupam has apparently bounced back into favour with the party.
He had not campaigned for the party in the 2019 parliament and Assembly elections and had lost the Lok Sabha elections to Mumbai North-West constituency to Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar.
The expansion comes three weeks after the party appointed Nana F. Patole, 57, as the new MPCC President, replacing Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat.
Besides Patole, the Congress named 6 Working Presidents, 10 Vice-Presidents and a jumbo 37-member Parliamentary Board in a widespread rejig of the party apparatus ahead of the crucial elections to various major civic bodies early next year, including BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation.
The 6 Working Presidents include leaders like Shivajirao Moghe, Basavaraj Patil, M. Arif Naseem Khan, Kunal Rohidas Patil, Chandrakant Handore and Pranati Sushilkumar Shinde.
The 10 Vice-Presidents are: Shirish Madhukarrao Chaudhari, Ramesh A. Bagwe, Hussain Dalwai, Mohan Joshi, Ranjit P. Kamble, Kailash K. Gorantyal, B. I. Nagrale, Sharad Aher, M. M. Shaikh, Manik M. Jagtap, and with 3 more – Nana Gavande, Sachin Naik, Sanjay Rathod and Charulatha Tokas – joining them, the strength has gone up to 14.
With the 3 latest additions – all senior leaders who have been former MPs or legislators – the strength of the 37-member Parliamentary Board has now gone up from 37 to 40.
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