Mumbai: With the BJP hell bent on exposing the fissures in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) by launching a state wide agitation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday hinted that they were on the same page, declaring that Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon violence are completely two different cases.
On the other hand, State Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat took potshots at the BJP and the Centre, saying the tearing hurry with which the case was handed over to the NIA was a matter of "doubts and concern".
The trio sent out a clear message to the BJP that ''all is well'' in the two and a half month old MVA government and there is no threat to its survival. They also reminded their critics that the three parties have agreed on a Common Minimum Programme, and for now, focusing on it to steer Maharashtra is more important.
Thackeray declared that he will not hand over the probe in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case to the Centre after his government transferred the Elgar Parishad case to the National Information Agency (NIA). ''Elgar and Koregaon-Bhima are two separate topics. The issue facing my Dalit brothers is about Koregaon-Bhima and I will not give it to the Centre.
I want to make it clear that there will be no injustice to Dalit brothers," Thackeray tweeted.
His tweet came a day after the NCP demanded a parallel inquiry by forming a special investigation team, under Section 10 of the NIA Act, to look into the arrests of activists by Pune police in the Elgar case.
On the other hand, Pawar claimed that Fadnavis government had misused police machinery in the Elgar Parishad case.
He reiterated his demand for an inquiry by the special investigation team into the police action. As reported by the FPJ in Tuesday's edition, he demanded that a SIT be appointed to probe the conduct of Pune police and the misuse of power by the Fadnavis government.
Pawar alleged that the Centre transferred the case from the state to the NIA fearing that the truth would be out. He further noted that the activists in the Elgar Parishad case could be termed as aggressive but not anti-nationals.
''More than 100 organisations were associated with the Elgar Parishad. The Pune police had registered cases against those who were not present at the Elgar Parishad and therefore the police action and their conduct needs to be probed,'' he said.
''The state government was meeting at 9 in the morning, but by evening, the central government took the matter to itself. This is abuse of power," said Pawar.
Meanwhile, Thorat has alleged that the Centre is trying to brand people associated with progressive, Dalit and Pro-Ambedkar movements as ''Naxals''. ''It is wrong to take action against them just because they spoke against the government. This is nothing but an attempt to gag them," he viewed.
On NPR, Pawar hopes to persuade CM Uddhav: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the CAA is no threat and he would not stop implementation of NPR in the state.
However, NCP chief Sharad Pawar downplayed it saying they will discuss the matter with Shiv Sena and bring it on the same page. "We will convince the Sena," he said.
Thackeray, during his visit in Sindhudurg district on Tuesday, said,'' "The CAA and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) are different and the NPR (the National Population Register) is different. No one has to worry if the CAA gets implemented".
He further stated that the NRC is not there and will not be implemented in the state. ''But if implemented, the NRC would affect not just Hindus or Muslims but also tribals,'' he noted.
Pawar reminded that NCP had vehemently opposed CAA, NRC and NPR earlier and the party had opposed it in the Rajya Sabha also. The Congress and the NCP are strongly opposed to CAA and NRC as well as NPR.