THE Maharashtra Assembly on Sunday witnessed verbal swordplay between Chief Minister Thackeray and his predecessor Devendra Fadnavis as the former taunted that he was in the House though he never said “Me punha yein” (I will come back), an election slogan of the BJP leader who retorted that he will return as CM and they only have to wait for some time. “I will not hesitate to admit that we have been good friends for a long time. Had you listened to us, I would have been sitting at home watching today’s developments on TV,” Thackeray said after Fadnavis, leader of the State BJP legislature unit, was named the new Leader of Opposition in the House by Speaker Nana Patole.
“I never said I will come back, but I came in this House,” the Shiv Sena chief said during his congratulatory speech, adding, “I can assure this House and people of Maharashtra that I will not do anything at midnight. I will be working for the interests of the people.” Thackeray’s swipe was apparently about the early morning hush-hush swearing in of Fadnavis as Chief Minister on November 3, along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister, after night-long dramatic political developments in Mumbai and Delhi. The two, however, resigned after Pawar pulled out. Responding to the barbs over his “Me punha yein” remarks, Fadnavis said he did say it but forgot to announce a time table of his return as Chief Minister. “...But I can assure you one thing, you need to wait for some time”.
“Mera paani utarte dekh kinare par ghar mat bana lena, mein samundar hoon, laut kar vapis aaoonga (Thinking the tide has ebbed, don’t you dare build your house on the coast, for I am the sea, and I will come back),” he said, quoting a famous couplet. “I not only announced several projects in the last five years, but started work on them as well. You never know, I may come back to inaugurate them,” he said. The BJP could not come to power in Maharashtra despite emerging as the single largest party as ‘political arithmetic prevailed over merit, Fadnavis said in the Assembly after a resolution was moved to congratulate him on being appointed the leader of Opposition’.
Thackeray said he won’t call Fadnavis an ‘Opposition leader’, but a ‘responsible leader’. “If you would have been good to us then, all this (BJP-Shiv Sena split) would not have happened,” he added. “I have learnt a lot of things from Fadvanis and I will always be friends with him. I am still with the ideology of ‘Hindutva’ and won’t ever leave it. In the past five years, I never betrayed the (BJP-Sena) Government,” he said.
CM should now give Rs 25K per hectare to farmers: Fadnavis
LEADER of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should now fulfil his own earlier demand of Rs 25,000 per hectare to farmers for crop damages. Fadnavis said that this in the Assembly while congratulating senior Congress leader Nana Patole on being elected Speaker of the Lower House of the State Legislature. “Uddhav Thackeray, as leader of his party (Shiv Sena), while touring the State (last month, when he was not the Chief Minister) demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare for farmers as assistance.
I think he should ensure now that farmers get the assistance,” Fadnavis said. Sena president Thackeray was on Thursday sworn-in as Chief Minister, after his party came together with the NCP and Congress to form Government in the State.
The three parties forged an alliance after the Sena fell out with pre-poll ally BJP over sharing the Chief Ministerial post. Last month, when a bitter tussle between the Sena and BJP over Government formation was on, Thackeray toured some areas where farmers suffered crop damages due to unseasonal post-monsoon rains this year. He had dubbed the Rs 10,000 crore package announced by the then Fadnavis-led State Government as inadequate and demanded that the affected farmers be given Rs 25,000 per hectare as compensation.