'Didn't Discriminate': Ajit Pawar as Congress MLA Alleges Harassment Over Funds
'Departments with Congress ministers never received funds and only got problems,' state Congress chief Patole said.
Amid the deepening political turmoil in Maharashtra, state Congress president Nana Patole on Thursday, 23 June, accused Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar of harassing Congress legislators and ministers by stalling their development funds.
Pawar, however, responded by saying that he did not discriminate between parties.
Patole's statement was in reference to some rebel Shiv Sena MLAs targeting the NCP for denying development funds to them.
"The departments with Congress ministers never received funds and only got problems. That is something we have spoken up against," the state Congress chief said.
The NCP and Congress are part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, where Ajit Pawar occupies the post of the state finance minister along with being the Deputy CM.
"Ajit Pawar has harassed Congress MLAs and ministers also. We opposed these tactics saying the government was for the welfare of people. Our opposition to such tactic was not political," Patole said.
'No MLA Faced Discrimination,' says Ajit Pawar
Speaking at a press conference, Deputy CM and state finance minister interfered Pawar responded to statements claiming discrepancies in the distribution of schemes and funds.
"I have never looked at anybody differently. I helped everybody equally and solve their problems. If they had raised this issue in front of all senior leaders of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, it would have been better," the 62-year-old said.
Emphasising on the independence of party matters within the government, Pawar said, "No parties interfered in each other's matters. If a particular party's MLA faced minor issues because there were different parties involved, that was solved."
"However, no MLA faced discrimination because of their parties," he added.
What's Happening in Maharashtra?
Amid an impasse of the Shiv Sena central leadership with its rebel MLAs, spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Thursday reiterated that the party was ready for discussions.
"Discussions can lead the way. Rather than accepting slavery, take a decision while guarding your self respect," Raut wrote in a tweet.
The statements by the Sena comes as rebel leader Eknath Shinde's camp has garnered the support of 42 MLAs - 35 from the Shiv Sena and 7 independents.
Earlier, Raut had said that the party will consider quitting the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and gave the rebel MLAs return to Mumbai within 24 hours and state their demands directly before party chief and CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Meanwhile, rebel MLA Sanjay Shirsat penned a scathing letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that he never met his own people but only coddled allies.
The 3-page letter, tweeted by rebel leader Eknath Shinde who called it the 'voice of all MLAs', also alleged humiliation by the 'middlemen' surrounding Thackeray.
(With inputs from PTI)
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