On Monday, BJP leader and former Lok Sabha MP Kirit Somaiya mocked Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for the disarray in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government over the Bhima Koregaon case. He hinted that NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wielded more authority than the elected CM. To buttress his claim, he cited state Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik’s assertion that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh would announce the formation of an SIT to probe the Bhima Koregaon violence. This development comes at a juncture when Uddhav Thackeray overruled Deshmukh to allow the transfer of the Bhima Koregaon case to the NIA.
Who Runs Thackeray Sarkar!!?? Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar or Rahul Gandhi? CM Udhav Thackeray handover investigation of Bhima Koregaon to NIA. Now NCP Minister Navab Malik says Anil Deshmukh Home Minister will announce formation of SIT of Maharashtra Police @BJP4Maharashtra— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) February 17, 2020
Kirit Somaiya remarked, “Finally, who runs Thackeray sarkar (government)? Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar or Rahul Gandhi? Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray handed over the Bhima Koregaon case probe to the NIA. Now, NCP leading and Minister Nawab Malik announced that NCP leader and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will declare that the case will be investigated by SIT of Maharashtra police. Uddhav, your government is weird, your governance is astonishing.”
Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. This resulted in the death of one person and leaving several injured. Subsequently, the Pune police arrested activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, and Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale and P Varavara Rao for allegedly inciting the Bhima Koregoan violence through their speech at the Elgar Parishad meeting on December 31, 2017.
In the last few weeks, Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have publicly sparred over the Bhima Koregaon case. While the latter was in favour of an SIT probe to investigate whether the earlier dispensation worked with a malafide intent, the Maharashtra CM disapproved of this. After he handed over the probe to NIA, Sharad Pawar slammed the Maharashtra government. Meanwhile, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar adopted an ambiguous stance in this matter whereby he did not explicitly blame the Centre for unilaterally transferring the case to NIA.