Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday defended registration of FIRs against BJP leaders over the saffron party’s ’Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ for alleged coronavirus norms violation, saying ”rules are the same for everyone”. Pawar also supported his cabinet colleague Anil Parab over his alleged role in Union minister and BJP leader Narayan Rane’s arrest earlier this week for his controversial comments against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The NCP leader was talking to the media here after taking part in a COVID-19 review meeting on Pune district. Pawar is the guardian minister of Pune district.”I don’t know what message Anil Parab got at that time. Usually, a guardian minister gets instant calls from the district collector or the police head whenever there is some kind of emergency.
”As a guardian minister we take a call on the situation. After being sworn-in as a minister we have to act in a responsible way, take necessary action and deliver justice,” Pawar said.He was replying to questions about the alleged role of Parab, Shiv Sena leader and state minister, in the arrest of Rane.
Maharashtra BJP legislator Ashish Shelar on Wednesday demanded a CBI inquiry against Parab, who is also the guardian minister of Ratnagiri district where Rane was arrested on Tuesday.”The BJP demands a CBI inquiry into the involvement of Anil Parab in the arrest of Rane as the Sena leader was heard telling someone that the Union minister’’s bail plea is going to be rejected. All the phone calls made by Parab and IPS officials involved into it should be probed,” Shelar had said.
Pawar also defended the state government over several FIRs lodged against BJP members for alleged violation of COVID-19 norms during the ’Jan Ashirwad Yatra’, saying ”rules are the same for everyone”.Rane is one of the BJP ministers taking part in the yatra in Maharashtra.
Asked about the yatra, the BJP’s mass contact drive undertaken by the newly inducted Union ministers, the NCP leader said everybody has the right to grow their party.”After making them (Union) ministers they were told to meet people and they are doing it (under the yatra). However, they should see what kind of reactions they are getting on social media from the people,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of Rane’s help for micro, small and medium enterprises in Maharashtra, Pawar said decision on the issue lies with the central government.Rane, who hails from Maharashtra, is the Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
Pawar said the Maharashtra government can get funds from the department headed by another Union minister from the state, Nitin Gadkari, who handles the Road Transport & Highways portfolio.Asked about the upcoming ’dahi handi’ and Ganpati festivals, he said, ”We have informed police officials to take local administration and people into confidence to follow the government’s decision (to keep celebrations low-key in view of COVID-19).”