Denied place in BJP-led Maharashtra govt, four smaller allies express ire
Political observers say that the major discontent among the smaller allies is due to their no representation in the state government.
Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in Maharashtra is facing opposition on several issues from its smaller alliance partners than the Congress and NCP. Also, these allies are discontent with BJP for not getting any representation in the state government for the last two months.
Apart from BJP and Shiv Sena, the grand alliance include four other alliance partners- Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (RPI-A), the Raju Shetty-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), the Mahadev Jankar-led Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and expelled NCP leader Vinayak Mete's Shiv Sangram. These four smaller allies have played crucial role in ensuring victory of many saffron candidates in Western Maharashtra and Marathwada region in Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
The SSS, known for its aggression on farmers’ issues, is unhappy with the BJP for not fulfilling the demands made related to farmers and other issues during the elections campaigns. On Monday, the activists of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) vandalized a toll plaza in Kolhapur district in Western Maharashtra demanding that it should be closed at the earliest.
"Prior to the elections, the BJP had promised to implement the recommendations of Swaminathan committee and to give fair price to sugarcane. But, it has not done anything on it. Also, the BJP had promised to shut down the toll plaza in Kolhapur but failed in doing so despite being in power since past two months. We will continue to agitate if the government does not fulfill the promises given during the election campaigning," said Raju Shetty, an MP and president of SSS, speaking to Firstpost.
The two other allies, RSP and Shiv Sangram, are unhappy over the Dhangar and Maratha reservation issue respectively. While the RSP feels that the BJP has taken U-turn on its promise of giving ST status to the Dhangar community, Shiv Sangra is unhappy over the state government’s failure to vacate the stay ordered by the Bombay High Court on Maratha reservation. RPI (A) says that the BJP led state government should take steps to reduce the atrocities against Dalits in the state.
Political observers say that the major discontent among the smaller allies is due to their no representation in the state government. Sources in the government said that the four smaller allies would be inducted in next cabinet expansion but refused to reveal the date of expansion.
"It is true that there is discontent among the Dhangar community over the BJP led state government's U-turn on the reservation issue. But, it has now promised to appoint a committee to look into the issue. Our fight will continue till the issue is resolved," said Mahadeo Jankar, president of RSP, who has significant presence in Western Maharashtra.
RPI leaders say that the BJP president and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given promises in writing prior to the elections which he should fulfill now. "It is BJP’s moral responsibility fulfill the promises given us in writing. It should not say that we did not perform well or our candidates did not get elected in assembly. It is not a condition for fulfilling the promises," said a RPI leader.
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