MumbaiA day after violent protests by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees outside Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s Mumbai residence ‘Silver Oak’, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar blamed the intelligence failure and questioned how the police had failed. Get information even when the media knows about the protests.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member (MP) Sanjay Routh pointed fingers at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condemned the incident.
An angry mob of MSRTC employees entered the ‘Silver Oak’ premises of NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Mumbai on Friday to protest against the state government. They threw shoes and slippers outside the residence, chanting slogans against Pawar, claiming that Pawar had done nothing to meet their demands. The loss-making MSRTC workers, a Maharashtra government agency, are demanding that their services be merged with the state government.
“It is a controversial fact that the Mumbai police are on duty and they have failed. We can see that there are media cameras along with the protesting workers, which means the media knows that then why didn’t the police do it? A senior police official was asked to investigate. The police will find the mastermind behind this incident, ”said Sharad Pawar, who is also the nephew of the Deputy Chief Minister.
“Until the last moment, the chief minister appealed to the striking workers to return to work, and I and the transport minister demanded the same. All action taken against them was also withdrawn. State Government also facilitates MSRTC buses not running during Kovid times (lockdown period) ⁇250 to 300 crore every month to pay their salaries, ”he said, pointing out that the state government was sympathetic to the striking workers.
“I condemn the attack on the residence of Sharad Pawar @PawarSpeaks, one of the most senior figures in India, and welcome the statement made by MCMOMaharashtra to take stern action against the perpetrators,” Banerjee tweeted on Saturday.
Routh, who met Pawar at his residence on Saturday, said lawyer Gunaratne Sadhavarte, who was arrested after the incident for provoking MSRTC employees, was getting financial help from the BJP.
“It was not a protest, it was an attack,” Routh said. Whose house is he staying in? He is getting financial help only to speak out against (Chief Minister) Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar. Yesterday’s attack was part of that.
In reply to a question, Routh said that some BJP leaders were supporting the incident and it seems that there was a BJP hand behind it.
The BJP demanded an investigation into the intelligence failure. Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said, “Such attacks are unacceptable. But one important question is whether the entire media is aware of their plans.” They received messages at 2.30pm (about the protest at Pawar’s residence). The protesters had planned the whole agitation and the police had no information. This is a major failure of the police and intelligence and requires an investigation. We watched those videos (protest) and they were horrible.
Meanwhile, NCP activists staged protests across the state condemning Friday’s incident.