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Bhima Koregaon, Elgar Parishad cases: Uddhav government to set up SIT, says minister

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil said the state government can carry out an independent inquiry in the Elgar Parishad case despite the probe being taken over the by the NIA.

Published: 21st February 2020 11:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2020 11:58 PM   |  A+A-

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives to address a press conference in New Delhi Friday Feb. 21 2020. Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut are also seen. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

GADCHIROLLI: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday said the previous government in the state termed those opposed to their policies as 'urban Naxals' and foisted cases against intellectuals, poets and thinkers.

He said the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi would set up a special investigation team (SIT), as demanded by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, to probe the Koregaon Bhima and Elgar Parishad cases, the latter now being investigated by the federal National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Addressing a press conference here, Deshmukh said legal opinion was being sought for the setting up of the SIT.

Earlier on Friday, Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil said the state government can carry out an independent and parallel inquiry in the Elgar Parishad case despite the probe being taken over the by the NIA.

While the state government allowed the case, which relates to a conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017 in which alleged inflammatory speeches were made, to be handed over to the NIA, the NCP and Congress, partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, had opposed it.

Patil, however, said there were no differences in the MVA government on NIA taking over the Elgar Parishad probe.

ALSO READ | Congress unhappy with Maharashtra govt's decision to transfer Bhima Koregaon case to NIA

"Even if the NIA has taken over the case, the state government can conduct an independent and parallel inquiry into the case and a decision to this effect may be taken by the state government soon," he said.

He said the Centre was delaying GST dues and central tax share to Maharashtra ever since the MVA under Uddhav Thackeray took charge, adding "my assumption is that the Centre's financial position is not sound".

"I am not of the opinion that they are deliberately delaying the dues. Any government at the Centre treats all states impartially," he said.

Patil said the meeting between CM Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi will discuss pending dues of the state.

Patil said a decision on the National Population Register exercise would take place after all constituents of the government study its questionnaire.

"NPR is a census and there is no question of opposing the census. Only important thing is what sort of questions will be asked. We will discuss this and take a unanimous decision," Patil, a senior NCP leader, said.

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