Union Home Minister Amit Shah came down hard on Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for questioning the relevance of Article 370's abrogation in Maharashtra Assembly election campaign, saying that NCP supremo Sharad Pawar is suffering from the cataract of "greed for votes". Shah was addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Rajura on Friday. Sanjay Yadaorao Dhote is the sitting BJP MLA from this seat.
"Maharashtra is the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Veer Savarkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The land where the fight for 'Swaraj' began. Now, they were asking about the relationship between Maharashtra and Article 370. Pawar Sahab, you have got the cataract of greed for votes. You cannot see what the people of the state want," said Amit Shah. He added that the BJP is a party of patriots led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, unlike Congress-NCP that is run by Gandhi and Pawar dynasties.
The BJP President also attacked the opposition in the state for not doing enough for Adivasi communities who have historically played a key role in the Independence struggle. “Your four generations ruled nation for 70 years, what have you done for Adivasis?” Amit Shah said the party had no respect for tribal communities.
Rajura constituency in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district has a sizable tribal population. The constituency has over three lakh voters. Shah wooed Adivasi voters with the promise that the Modi government will give the 'Patta' (lease on land) to tribals soon after the removal of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in Maharashtra.
Speaking about the Centre's open defecation-free (ODF) programme, Amit Shah said, "Sharad Pawar laughs and says that Modi Ji calls the toilet a development. Pawar Saheb, you will realize the importance of toilets when you will get to know the diffidence of mothers and sisters, who defecate in the open." He also said that Sharad Pawar will never feel the pain of women as he has collected "millions and billions of rupees".
The BJP here faces a challenge from Congress leader Subhash Ramchandrarao Dhote, who was defeated in the 2014 Assembly polls and Mahaling Naganand Kanthale of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
(With inputs from ANI)