Times of India | 4 days ago | 24-11-2022 | 08:57 am
MUMBAI: Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said it appears that governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari is deliberately making derogatory statements so that the BJP leadership will shunt him out of Raj Bhavan. “As deputy chief minister, I met Koshyari on many occasions. He used to tell me that it's high time he moves out of Raj Bhavan and he did not want to stay there. Then I had told him to take it up with the BJP leadership. It appears that the BJP high command has ignored his plea, therefore, he is making uncalled-for statements against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and social reformers, so that the BJP leadership will shunt him out,” the NCP leader said. Koshyari stoked a controversy with his recent statement that “Chhatrapati Shivaji is an icon from the olden times...Babasaheb Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari are found right here”. Pawar said it was shocking that despite such statements, instead of condemning Koshyari, the BJP leadership is on the defensive and busy tweeting on the controversy. “We feel that BJP leadership should take serious cognizance of such statements and recall him with immediate effect. We are also shocked over the statement of a BJP spokesperson who claimed that Shivaji Maharaj had tendered an apology on five occasions. I am surprised how BJP is tolerating such statements and such leaders,” Pawar said. He reiterated that chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis should warn their cabinet colleagues against making derogatory remarks. Pawar criticized the government’s decision to grant holiday in a few border districts for the Gujarat polls. “Shinde and Fadnavis must reconsider their decision,” Pawar said. He added that the state government should review the actual number of working days and holidays in the state. Out of 365 days in a year, 106 are holidays, he said.
MUMBAI: The government has issued a fresh tender worth Rs 53 crore for carrying out civil and electrical works in the state's Central library building in Kalina. The call for new works ends the much-controversial takeover of land from Mumbai University and its transfer to a private builder to commercially exploit it in return for building the library premises, a proposal mooted by the then public works department minister Chhagan Bhujbal. Interestingly, documents accessed by TOI show that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government also paid the builder Rs 137.07 crore for cancelling the 12-year-old agreement and taking back the land, "despite the infrastructure company not fulfilling the agreement". The matter dates back to November 26, 1993, when a 4-acre plot was taken from the Mumbai University for a paltry sum of Rs 1.6 lakh to construct a Central library on lines with the Asiatic library. The then government decided to hand it over to a private firm which was to construct 23,423 sqm of the building for the Central Library, in lieu of which it could exploit the rest of the land and construct 18,421 sqm of private construction - residential housing and a commercial complex. The land was given for a 99-year lease at Re 1 per sqm. On July 6, 2010, the work order was issued and it was agreed to complete the construction in 36 months. The library building was to be built at a cost of Rs 82.5 crore. "However, despite the fact that time went by and construction did not complete, the government did not take any action against the developer. The state government must set up an inquiry against the ministers and the officers who let this pass and caused losses to the state exchequer," said RTI activist Anil Galgali. What was shocking was the turn of events after 2019. In September 2019, following disputes, the state government decided to scrap the project as there was no progress. The private builder demanded a compensation of Rs 229.6 crore, but after an audit, the state settled the matter and paid the former Rs 137.07 crore and budgeted for Rs 46.67 crore for completing the unfinished work, which ballooned to Rs 53 crore in 2022. Galgali said the government did not benefit from this contract, instead it incurred an additional loss of Rs 107 crore. "In fact, the infrastructure company which did not complete the contract benefited in the bargain. If the initial cost of construction was Rs 82.5 crore, on what basis was Rs 137.07 crore paid to the developer?" he asked. He has demanded an inquiry to be set up by the chief minister and deputy chief minister.
As Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has been on an overdrive to meet visitors, the Chief Secretary’s Office in the state has received several verbal complaints against at least three senior IAS officers for allegedly refusing to attend visitors. Officials usually meet individuals without appointments, post 3 pm. The officials concerned have allegedly even removed display boards stating the same. The Chief Secretary’s Office, however, cannot seek a reply as no formal complaint has yet been filed yet.It has been more than three months since the formation of the state government, but the ministers in the Shinde-Fadnavis government barely work from their office in the Mantralaya. Ministers and their staff had opted to work from their bungalows and private residences for reasons best known to them; and it was only the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister who were regularly present at the Mantralaya, while the ministers only attended the state Cabinet meetings.Days before the major Indian Police Service (IPS) transfers, a common trend nowadays has been the lists of the new postings being circulated on social media. The same was the case in the past week as well when two separate lists were circulated on social media, ahead of the impending Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank and above transfers. Generally, these lists do not have similarities with the eventual transfer orders. Many believe that it was done by the “well wishers” of officers who either try to portray themselves as front runners or stymie someone else’s chances by showing them in prominent postings.
UPSET with “inaction” against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari despite their repeated demands, Chattrapati Udayanraje Bhosale and Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji, have upped the ante, seeking decisive action in the matter.While Sambhajiraje expressed the possibility of an “uprising”, Udayanraje will hold a press conference in Pune on Monday in which he will announce an “important decision”, said his aides.Last week, Udayanraje held a press conference in Pune and demanded the immediate ouster of the Governor as well as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi for “insulting” the Maratha warrior king. While the Governor had reportedly called Shivaji a hero of the past era during a function, Trivedi, during a TV debate on V D Savarkar’s apology, had said that the 17th-century king had also “apologised” during his regime.In a tweet on Sunday, Sambhajiraje warned of an “uprising” if no action is taken against the Governor. “Does it mean the government agrees with the remarks? No one should take the people of Maharashtra for granted. If the government does not understand the sentiments of Shiv Bhakats, an uprising will take place,” he said.Last week, Sambhajiraje had asked as to what was preventing the government from taking action against the Governor. “The Governor has tried to belittle Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who is worshipped by millions, at least twice. It is unbelievable that…the government remained a mere spectator…now even BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi has made insulting remarks. If such things are allowed to continue, it will lead to a revolt from the people of Maharashtra,” he had said.While Udayanraje is Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP, Sambhajiraje is a former RS Parliamentarian who was also a presidential nominee. Both the royals are known for their proximity to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.Udayanraje’s close associates said he will make an important announcement on Monday. “We don’t know whether it relates to his resignation or not. It may be about resignation or it may not be so… We have no clue but we know for sure that he will announce an important decision,” said an aide on Sunday.Both Udayanraje and Sambhajiraje are firm that the Governor should be sent packing from Maharashtra. “He should not serve as Governor anywhere,” Sambhajiraje told TV channels in Kolhapur on Saturday.Udayanraje said, “The Maharashtra Governor deserved to be sent to an old age home.”
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson, Swati Maliwal on Sunday condemned the objectionable statement by yoga guru and businessman, Baba Ramdev on women, calling his remarks “indecent.”Maliwal in a tweet said, “The remarks made by Swami Ramdev on women in front of the wife of the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra are indecent and condemnable. All women have been hurt by this statement, Baba Ramdev ji should apologize to the country for this statement!”महाराष्ट्र के उपमुख्यमंत्री जी की पत्नी के सामने स्वामी रामदेव द्वारा महिलाओं पर की गई टिप्पणी अमर्यादित और निंदनीय है। इस बयान से सभी महिलाएँ आहत हुई हैं, बाबा रामदेव जी को इस बयान पर देश से माफ़ी माँगनी चाहिए! pic.twitter.com/1jTvN1SnR7— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) November 26, 2022DCW Chair’s statement comes after Maharashtra State Women Commission on Saturday served a notice to Ramdev asking him to clarify his stand in three days.At a function in Thane on Friday, Ramdev said, “Women look good in sarees, women look good in salwar suits too, and in my eyes, they look good even if they wear nothing.”Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife Amruta and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son and Lok Sabha MP Shrikant Shinde were present at the function.Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday protested against the objectionable statement made against women by Ramdev. NCP’s women workers garlanded Ramdev’s photo with chappals.Slamming Baba Ramdev, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP, Mahua Moitra reacted sharply over his comments calling his “views lop-sided.”“Now I know why Patanjali baba ran away from Ramlila Maidan in women’s clothes. He says he likes sarees, salwars and …… Clearly got a strabismus in his brain that makes his views so lop-sided,” she said in a tweet.Now I know why Patanjali baba ran away from Ramlila Maidan in women’s clothes. He says he likes sarees, salwars and ……Clearly got a strabismus in his brain that makes his views so lop-sided.— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) November 26, 2022Ramdev hasn’t issued a statement yet, even after the comments have drawn flak from groups and individuals.
MUMBAI: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Sunday demanded that the Centre take immediate action against Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai for allegedly making statements that were disturbing peace in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Earlier this week, Bommai had claimed that 40 villages in Jat taluka of Sangli district in Maharashtra had passed a resolution in the past to merge with Karnataka, and said that Kannada-speaking areas of the state such as Solapur and Akkalkot should join Karnataka. Read AlsoMaharashtra's border dispute petition lacks legal sanctity, says Karnataka CM Basavaraj BommaiChief minister Basavaraj Bommai said the petition filed by Maharashtra regarding the border dispute with Karnataka does not have any legal provision, since it was filed on the basis of the State Reorganisation Act and Article 3 of the Constitution. "Karnataka is fully prepared for an effective legalBommai also condemned the alleged incidents of painting of Karnataka buses with pro-Maharashtra slogans and appealed to the Eknath Shinde government to take immediate steps to stop this. NCP national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, "Yes, action should be taken against people who caused problems to the buses. But in that case, action should also be taken against Bommai because his unwanted statements on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue seem to have influenced the minds of some people who are taking law into their hands and causing disturbance." Crasto in a statement said the Karnataka chief minister should not have raked up a sub-judice matter and gone a step further by saying that he would claim other districts of Maharashtra as well. "His statements over the last few days are hurting the sentiments of people and making them express their feelings negatively," the NCP leader said. The Central government must take immediate action against Bommai for making statements that disturbed peace in both the states, he said. ''Why is the BJP's central leadership not asking Bommai to refrain from making such statements? Do they agree with what he said?" Crasto said. The Maharashtra government has appointed cabinet members Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai as nodal ministers to coordinate with the legal team regarding the court case on the border dispute with Karnataka. Maharashtra, since its inception in 1960, has been locked in a dispute with Karnataka over the status of Belgaum (also called Belagavi) district and 80 other Marathi-speaking villages, which are part of the southern state. Maharashtra has staked claim over the Marathi-speaking areas and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.