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Maharashtra govt. to allot ₹23 crore to develop Shivaji’s birthplace Fort Shivneri, says Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari pays floral tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue on his birth anniversary, at Shivaji Park, Dadar in Mumbai.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari pays floral tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue on his birth anniversary, at Shivaji Park, Dadar in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other ministers witness the 390th birth anniversary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the fort in Pune’s Junnar tehsil

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will allot ₹23 crore for the preservation and development of Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Wednesday.

Speaking at Shivneri Fort in Pune’s Junnar tehsil on the occasion of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s 390th birth anniversary, Mr. Ajit Pawar said: “At present, three departments, namely the Forest, the Archaeology and the Public Works Department (PWD), are in urgent need of funds amounting to ₹23 crore for the conservation works of Shivneri Fort.”

Also read | Blessings of Shivneri Fort’s soil has made me Maharashtra Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray

Mr. Ajit Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister of Pune district, informed that he would clear the fund amount at a meeting on Wednesday evening itself.

“When Uddhav Thackeray assumed responsibility as Chief Minister, his first decision following the swearing-in was to allot ₹20 crore for the preservation of Raigad Fort [Shivaji’s capital]. The objective of our government is to preserve historical forts by maintaining a heritage touch so as to keep it as it was during Chhatrapati Shivaji’s times,” said the Deputy Chief Minister .

Earlier, Mr. Thackeray, along with Mr. Ajit Pawar and other Cabinet Ministers including Chhagan Bhujbal and local legislators, were present at the birth anniversary celebrations of the legendary Maratha warrior-king, who is said to be born here in 1630 C.E.

Mr. Thackeray witnessed a number of events, including the ‘cradle ceremony’, while reviewing the progress of the development works at the fort.

Also read | MVA government will follow principles of Shivaji: CM

‘True people’s govt.’

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that there was a palpable sense among the public of Maharashtra that “a true people’s government has come to power in the State in the form of the MVA government”.

He further said that Mr. Ajit Pawar (and the NCP) ought to have allied with the Sena much earlier for the benefit of the State.

“Ajit dada and me [the Sena] simply remained apart all these years when we ought to have united much earlier. However, now that we are together, I promise the people of the State that we [the MVA coalition of the Sena-Congress-NCP] will not rest until we have developed Maharashtra,” Mr. Thackeray said.

Likewise, in a veiled jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, Mr. Ajit Pawar said: “Today is unique as there is a visible feeling that a true government of the people has come to power in Maharashtra…This is the first time I am witnessing such enthusiasm, especially from the youth on the occasion of ‘Shiv Jayanti’ ”.

Mr. Ajit Pawar had recently startled the State with his intra-party ‘rebellion’ when he staged a coup on the morning of November 23 last year to be sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as Chief Minister. After NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s iron hand had prevailed and the NCP failed to split, Mr. Ajit Pawar had resigned from his post in less than 80 hours.

‘No difference of opinion’

However, speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Ajit Pawar stressed that there was no difference of opinion within the MVA coordination committee.

“The representatives of all three parties are carefully weighing every problem…We are addressing issues and taking decisions with a view to maintain peace and communal harmony in the State,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

He also refuted suggestion of differences of opinion existing between the Sena, the NCP and the Congress over the Elgaar Parishad probe.

Also read | Maharashtra government has right to launch independent probe into Elgaar Parishad case: Sharad Pawar

“There are two separate questions here: one Elgaar Parishad and the second, the Bhima-Koregaon clashes…the State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has already given his views, while the Chief Minister has spoken on the Bhima-Koregaon case in Sindhudurg on Tuesday and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, too, has spelled out his stance…So, I don’t think there is any further reason to believe that we [MVA] are divided on this issue,” said Mr. Ajit Pawar.

The Chief Minister on Tuesday had said that while the Central government had taken over the probe into the Elgaar Parishad case from the Maharashtra government and turned it over to the National Investigation Agency, he would never permit the probe into the Bhima-Koregaon clashes to be handed over to the Centre.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:05:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-govt-to-allot-23-crore-to-develop-shivajis-birthplace-fort-shivneri-says-ajit-pawar/article30858893.ece

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