MUMBAI: The first signs of strain in the newly formed Maha Vikas Aghadi (MAV) — an alliance of ideologically opposed parties — surfaced on Wednesday when Congress MP Hussain Dalwai proposed that Hindu hardliner Sanatan Sanstha be banned while Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who was at the forefront of the efforts to stitch up the coalition, opposed the idea.
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. He also said that the government should take stern action against Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, 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 progress, the troublesome elements will have to be kept under 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 the murders of Dabholkar and Pansare,” Dalwai said.
He hit out at NCP minister Jayant Patil for protecting Bhide. “Some people have been deliberately implicated in the Bhima Koregaon case. But Bhide and Ekbote were involved in the case. Both are spreading terror…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,” Dalwai added.
Opposing the idea of banning Sanatan Sanstha, Raut said, “Bans have proved to be ineffective in such cases. Ban doesn’t serve the purpose as it can’t kill thoughts.”Patil, however, said the government will not support anyone who played a role in the Koregaon-Bhima violence.
Thackeray’s nephew called out by BJP
The Maharasthra unit of the BJP on Wednesday lashed out at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government after a controversy erupted over the CM’s nephew, Varun Sardesai, attendance at an official government meeting. The CM’s nephew and Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai and the CM’s son Aditya Thackeray, were present at an official meeting held at the state secretariat on Monday to review infrastructure projects. As the photographs of the meeting started getting circulated over social media on Wednesday controversy erupted over the propriety of Sardesai’s presence at the official meeting.
Former CM Fadnavis’ court hearing set for January 4
The case against former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, wherein he is accused of concealing information about two criminal matters against him in an election affidavit, would now be heard on January 4, 2020, a court in Nagpur said on Wednesday as Fadnavis sought an exemption from appearance before the court in the case. Nagpur Police had last week delivered summons, issued by a magistrate’s court in Nagpur, to Fadnavis in connection with the case. His counsel Uday Dable had requested the court to allow an exemption to the BJP leader from an appearance in the case.