Three-party panel to look into NPR columns in Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray

Uddhav Thackeray  

Rollout of loan waiver today: CM

Refuting rumours of a rift in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said a coordination committee of senior leaders of all three parties will discuss the controversial points of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NCR).

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the budget session of the State legislature, Mr. Thackeray also announced that the first list of 20,000 beneficiaries under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule crop loan waiver scheme will be announced on Monday. Loans up to ₹2 lakh will be waived under the scheme.

Earlier, when asked about the possible disagreements between the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, Mr. Thackeray said a coordination committee of senior leaders of the three parties will be formed to check if controversial columns are included in the NPR survey. “What we are saying is only after discussions with the other two parties,” he said.

When asked about the Centre saying that States have no right to change the columns decided by it, Mr. Thackeray said “but the people of the State have the right to live”. The issue came up as Mr. Thackeray, after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, had said that the CAA will be implemented in Maharashtra. He had also said, “The NPR and census are different. If there are objectionable columns in NPR survey, the government will not go ahead.”

The Congress is opposing the CAA, NPR and NRC.

Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the violence in States where the party is in power, Mr. Thackeray said there have been protests in Maharashtra, but no violence. “On the contrary, look at Uttar Pradesh or Delhi. The terrorists who beat up students in JNU are still at large. The BJP must check on what is happening in its own backyard,” he said.

When asked about Devendra Fadnavis congratulating him over transferring the probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Mr. Thackeray said he had not done any such thing. “The Centre has snatched away the probe from us using special powers. We are not happy at the Centre’s behaviour. The State government wanted to investigate the case by itself,” he said.

On the loan waiver, Mr. Thackeray said banks have submitted a list of 35 lakh accounts that have loans up to ₹2 lakh to the government.

“We have decided to select two villages from each district on a trial basis for the first list, which will be announced on Monday. The trial is to check whether the system set up is working smoothly. The second list will be announced on February 28. We aim to complete the procedure by April-end, unlike the previous government’s farm loan waiver scheme which continued for months and years,” he said.

Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said the money will be deposited directly into the accounts of the farmers. “The 35 lakh accounts will be scrutinised to filter the exact number of beneficiaries,” Mr. Pawar said.

Savarkar barb

Commenting on the issue raised by the BJP of the alleged insult of Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar by the Congress, Mr. Thackeray said the BJP must not consider Savarkar or Hindutva as its own assets.

“When Savarkar’s name was removed from Andaman jail, BJP’s Ram Kapse was the governor and the party did not remove him from the post,” he said, adding that he will answer every question raised in the Assembly.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:05:07 PM |

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