Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis | Photo: PTI
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the new state government, in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the main constituent, succeeded in restoring the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota by submitting a report of empirical data in the Supreme Court.
Addressing the BJP state executive at Panvel near Mumbai, Fadnavis alleged that the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government lacked the willpower to get the OBC reservation restored.
"Modi sainiks and Shiv sainiks will take Maharashtra to greater heights," he said.
He took a veiled dig at Sanjay Raut saying the Shiv Sena MP has a huge role to play in toppling the MVA government.
While the new government of BJP and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has the willpower, the previous MVA government lacked the same, he said.
"As soon as we assumed power, we got the report of a dedicated OBC commission on empirical data, submitted it in the court and got the OBC quota restored. Wheres in the last two-and-a-half years, the MVA government did nothing except point fingers at the Centre," Fadnavis said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra state election commission (SEC) and all the state authorities to ensure that process for local bodies' election is "immediately commenced" in accordance with the recommendation made by the dedicated commission for reservation to OBC.
Earlier, the apex court had set aside the quota for OBC in local bodies' elections in Maharashtra for the lack of empirical data about their population.
Fadnavis asked BJP leaders and workers to have fewer expectations in the next two-and-a-half years (remainder of the term of the Maharashtra Assembly) and work to get a massive majority in the next elections.
Without taking the name of Raut, Fadnavis equated him with a loudspeaker.
"People were fed up with this loudspeaker which blared every morning so they made up their mind that if this has to stop, a change in government was necessary," he said.
Eknath Shinde came to power last month with the support of the BJP after rebelling against the Shiv Sena leadership with 40 of the 55 MLAs.
Fadnavis said the Maratha quota was approved by the government led by him in 2018 and was also upheld by the Bombay High Court, but the MVA government messed up the matter in the apex court.
"Now we will work to restore it (Maratha quota), but at the same time, we will implement the schemes for the welfare of the community initiated by our government before 2019 (when the BJP-led government was in power). We will also restart all our schemes which were withdrawn by the MVA government," Fadnavis said.
He said the new government's agenda is to work for the welfare of the last person in the society.
Fadnavis said the Eknath Shinde-led government is facing huge challenges like the damage caused by heavy rains.
He also said that a list of 12 persons to be appointed as MLCs under the Maharashtra governor's quota will also include Shiv Sena members from the Shinde camp. "We will have to take them along too," he said.
"We have to work towards a bigger goal. The BJP is not a private limited company. Everyone comes forward with their hard work. The day we give up our ideology for power, we will suffer," he said.
Fadnavis said the new government will function 24 hours all days a week.
Speaking at the event, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said Fadnavis had set an example of sacrifice and discipline for the party workers.
He was apparently referring to Fadnavis, a former chief minister, accepting the BJP leadership's directive to take oath as the Deputy CM.
Patil said obeying the directives of the party was the strength of the BJP. "All leaders and workers have to work to win all the local body and civic polls scheduled this year," he added.
Elections are due in 23 municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 284 panchayat samitis under their jurisdiction across the state.
Patil said in the last two-and-a-half years, the BJP had won most local bodies. Though several attempts were made to target the party workers the BJP did not relent.
"Hindutva was in danger during the MVA regime and hence a new government was necessary. When Eknath Shinde challenged his (Uddhav Thackeray's) leadership, the BJP decided to support him," he added.
The state executive congratulated Fadnavis for accepting the Deputy CM's post.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First Published: Jul 23 2022 | 8:34 PM IST