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Sena accuses BJP of using central agencies to defame MVA leadership, accuses Centre of anti-farmer policies

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Pune: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre had left no stone unturned to defame the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena broadside comes a day after the Income Tax department conducted marathon raids on several firms and offices owned by relatives and persons close to State Deputy Chief Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar.  

Launching a scathing attack in an editorial in its party mouthpiece Saamana against the BJP-ruled Centre, the Sena remarked that the BJP has flagrantly misused agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Income Tax and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to defame and destroy the MVA leadership. 

The I-T authorities in marathon raids lasting more than 12-hours, raided several businesses and offices including sugar factories in Pune, Satara, Ahmednagar, Nandurbar and Kolhapur among other places in Maharashtra.

The I-T teams had also searched premises of three sisters of Ajit Pawar in Pune and Kolhapur, as well as his son Parth Pawar’s office in Mumbai. The I-T later claimed to have detected alleged Rs. 1,050 crores in illicit transactions during the raids.  

Also Read: Income Tax dept conducts raids against Maharashtra deputy CM Pawar’s family, realtors

The Sena in its editorial argued, “By using these central agencies in a blatantly political manner, the BJP has tried hard to pressurize MVA leaders. Despite all this, they have not been able to gain much mileage.” 

Claiming that the political climate in the country today was against the BJP, the Sena alleged that the party’s policies were fundamentally ‘anti-farmer’, while pointing to the recent Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh which had left four farmers dead. 

“As in U.P, farmers in Maharashtra, too, are anxious. They have been ravaged by excessive rains and successive floods. While the Uddhav Thackeray government is trying hard to find a solution to give our farmers some relief, the BJP, despite being the largest party in the State, is taking an anti-farmer stance…the party has forgotten how to behave in a humane manner towards farmers,” alleged the editorial. 

The Sena, which was in alliance with the BJP under the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (2014-2019), fell out with its old saffron ally over the top post after the 2019 Assembly elections. The Sena joined hands with ideologically diametrically opposite Congress and the NCP and formed the MVA government. The BJP despite emerging as the single-largest party, winning 105 of the 288 seats, has had to sit in the opposition benches. 

The editorial further argued that the recent local bodies’ by-election results in Maharashtra was further proof of the BJP’s unpopularity. The Sena claimed that the three MVA partners did ensure that there was no fighting between them in several places, the public had not voted for the BJP in these places. 

It further urged the BJP to desist from beating its own drum in claiming victory in the Zilla Parishad by-polls, remarking that the saffron party was too narrow-minded to accept defeat gracefully. 

In the recent by-election results to the 85 Zilla Parishad and 144 Panchayat Samiti seats, the MVA had out-scored the BJP by winning 46 ZP and 73 Panchayat Samiti seats.  However, the BJP had emerged as the single-largest party in the ZP by-polls, winning 23 seats and the second-largest in the Panchayat Samiti by-polls, winning 33 seats. 

“Instead of claiming ‘victory’ over the MVA and complaining that they were up against the combined strength of three parties, the BJP must learn to gracefully accept the fact that the public has brought them down to the earth by shunning them in the local bodies’ by-elections…Unfortunately, the opposition in Maharashtra, instead of essaying a constructive role, has become too narrow-minded,” said the Sena editorial. 

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