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Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan’s remark on Muslim voters leaves government bruised

Congress leader and PWD minister Ashok Chavan allegedly said that his party took the approval of the Muslim community before aligning with the Shiv Sena. 

Published: 22nd January 2020 01:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2020 12:14 PM   |  A+A-

Ashok Chavan (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government found itself in a fix after its Public Works Department (PWD) minister said that it was because of Muslims that the government was formed.

Congress leader and PWD minister Ashok Chavan allegedly said that his party took the approval of the Muslim community before aligning with the Shiv Sena. 

Chavan, who addressed an anti-CAA rally in Nanded on Monday, said, “All our Muslim brotheren told us that the BJP is the biggest enemy of Muslims and to prevent it from coming to power again the Congress needs to join the government in Maharashtra. That is the reason why the Congress is in power in Maharashtra today and till the Congress is in power, it shall ensure that the CAA is not implemented in the state.”

“Any central legislation needs help from the state for its implementation. Though there is a three-party government in Maharashtra, Congress shall strive hard to see that CAA is not implemented in the state,” Chavan told the anti-CAA, NRC, NPR protesters at Nanded. Without wasting any time, the BJP was quick enough to target Shiv Sena over this.

“Chavan’s statement is sheer appeasement for the Muslim community and it shows how the vote bank politics runs,” state BJP spokesperson Ram Kadam said.

Questioning  Shiv Sena’s Hindutva plank, Kadam said, “Why isn’t Shiv Sena reacting to Chavan’s statement.” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya asked, “whether Shiv Sena too is appeasing Muslims just to block BJP’s advent?”

While the Congress has supported Chavan’s statements at the protests in Nanded, the Shiv Sena, however, has avoided comments on the controversy.

Panel to stop party Quarrels

Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra has decided to appoint a coordination committee of the top leaders from all the parties, sources said.

Senior NCP leader and Minorities Development Minister Nawab Malik accepted that leaders from all the three parties are considering forming a coordination committee so that a united face of the government is projected.

However, he declined to divulge any more details. Sources said Shiv Sena ministers have been complaining about deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

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