MUMBAI: The soft underbelly of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra was exposed on Wednesday after Congress MP Hussain Dalwai proposed that Hindu hardline group Sanatan Sanstha be banned. The idea was opposed by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
While speaking to a Marathi news channel, Dalwai demanded that the Sanatan Sanstha, which is accused of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar’s murder, should be banned and its head Jayant Athawale be jailed.
Dalwai also said that the government should take stern action against Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbothe, who are accused of violence at the war memorial at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018.
“The Shiv Sena had never supported the Sanatan Sanstha till now. Moreover, if Maharashtra wants to progress, the troublesome elements will have to be kept under a tab. Maharashtra has got a pragmatic government and the CM has said that all measures would be taken to ensure peace and development. Hence, the government needs to nail the kingpins responsible for murders of Dabholkar and Pansare,” Dalwai said.
“It was our mistake that we couldn’t nail the organizations during the UPA tenure in the state. But, the government now must rectify the mistake. Whatever is being said by Sanatan Sanstha is self-explanatory and hence I feel that the government shall do the needful to ban such terrorist organizations,” he added.
Dalwai also hit out at NCP minister Jayant Patil for protecting Sambhaji Bhide.
“Some people are deliberately implicated in the Bhima Koregaon case. Bhide and Ekbote were involved in the case. Both are spreading terror. Hence the new government should take stand against them,” Dalwai said.
“During riots in Sangli, Jayant Patil had supported Bhide. I’ll urge him not to do so in the bhima Koregaon case. These people need to be taught a lesson,” he added.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, opined against the ban. “Bans have proved to be ineffective in such cases. Ban doesn’t serve the purpose as it can’t kill thoughts,” Raut said.
Jayant Patil, however, said that the government will not support anyone who played any intentional role in the violence that had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018.
“We have received memorandums from several people claiming they were falsely framed in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima (violence). Such steps were taken in the past too,” Patil told reporters here during his visit to the party office.
“The government wants to see nobody faces injustice...the government does not want to trouble anyone...the government’s view is to give relief to those who were falsely framed in cases,” he added.
While the NCP is in favour of withdrawing cases, the right to take a decision in this connection rests with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as portfolios are yet to be allocated to ministers, he pointed out.
Notably, NCP MLA Dhananjay Munde had on Tuesday demanded the withdrawal of cases related to Koregaon-Bhima violence, claiming the previous BJP-led NDA government had slapped "false" cases against those named in the incident, including social activists.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Munde had also said the erstwhile government had “harassed” intellectuals, activists, social workers and ordinary citizens who had raised their voice against injustice and had labelled several of them as “urban Naxals”.
Opposition BJP has dubbed the NCP’s demand for withdrawal of cases as “blatant support to naxalism”.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhajiraje Bhosale demanded that cases against Maratha quota activists should be withdrawn by the state government.