Just after snubbing NCP’s requests and supporting the centre’s decision to hand over the Bhima Koregaon case investigation to NIA, the Uddhav Thackeray government seems to have got into another potential rift with its alliance partners. As per reports, the Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray is all set to roll out the National Population Register exercise in the state from May 1.
NPR roll-out ‘divides’ Maha Vikas Aghadi.
NCP chief @PawarSpeaks summons NCP ministers; meeting likely to be held today.
Details by TIMES NOW’s Aruneel. pic.twitter.com/2DLXjiHk2s
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) February 17, 2020
As per reports, Uddhav Thackeray has ignored the protests and objections from both the Congress and the NCP and has announced that the NPR exercise will be rolled out in the state from May 1. The state has reportedly already started preparations for the same.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has today summoned all 16 of his ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray government for a meeting in South Mumbai. It is reported hat Pawar has been very vocal over his displeasure at Uddhav deciding not to challenge the centre’s decision handing over the Bhima Koregaon investigation to the NIA.
Both the Congress and the NCP have been vocal against the CAA and the proposed NRC from the beginning. To this end, they have been stating that they will oppose the NPR exercise because it is nothing but ‘NRC in disguise’.
It is notable here that NCP had claimed multiple times that once in power, it will drop cases against the Bhima Koregaon rioters. However, the central government handing over the cases to NIA at the nick of time has quashed its hopes. NCP leader and Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh had even stated that CM Thackeray had overruled his decision and had declared not to challenge the centre’s order.
Recently, Deshmukh had even declared that the state is exploring legal options to block the NPR and NRC in the state. He had even urged the anti-CAA protestors in the state to call off their agitation asserting that NRC and NPR will not be implemented in the state.
While the Congress and the NCP are both opposed to the NPR exercise, their Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance partner Shiv Sena has issued a statement saying, “NPR and NRC are two different subjects. NPR is related to the census and it is the centre’s prerogative to implement it. It is in the national interest.”
Uddhav’s backing of the NPR and the state government already beginning preparations for the NPR has reportedly not gone down well with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. As per a report in the Economic Times, Pawar has cut short a trip to Nashik and has returned to Mumbai to hold talks with his ministers today.
It is notable here that the Sena has already been at crosshairs with the Congress on several issues, The repeated insults to Veer Savarkar by Congress leaders has not been sitting well with Shiv Sena leaders too.
The NCP, Congress and ideologically distant Shiv Sena had come together to form government in Maharashtra after the Sena decided to dump its pre-poll alliance partner BJP and insisted on the CM post.
In another development, leader of the opposition and former CM Devendra Fadnavis has claimed that if elections were to be held in the state today, the BJP will gain a majority on its own.