By Pankaj P. Khelkar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is in Pune for a two-day visit, shared the stage with Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for the first time. The home minister took a light dig at the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, saying “he took a long time to come on the right dias”.
“This is the first time that myself and Ajit Pawar are sharing dias. I would like to tell Ajit Daada that you are the right person for the development work. I want to tell him that after a long time, you are sitting in the right place. This was the right place but you took too long to come,” Amit Shah said.
He was speaking at the launch of the digital portal of the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies office (CRCS) in Pune. This is the first visit of Shah to Pune after Ajit Pawar-led NCP joined the BJP-Sena coalition government in the state on July 2.
In a stunning move in July, Ajit Pawar led a vertical split in the NCP to become the deputy chief minister, shocking his uncle Sharad Pawar, who founded the outfit 24 years ago. Eight NCP leaders were also sworn in as ministers at the ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai.
This is Ajit Pawar’s fourth stint as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar’s 2019 stint with the BJP lasted merely 80 hours.
An immensely popular face in his largely rural Assembly segment Baramti in Pune district, Ajit Pawar rebelled against his uncle and, in a hastily organised ceremony, took oath as deputy chief minister. Devendra Fadnavis took oath as chief minister. But the government collapsed later.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar and other cooperative barons extended a warm welcome to Amit Shah in Pune today. Shah’s visit to Pune also comes shortly after PM Narendra Modi visited the city on August 1 where he was bestowed with the prestigious award by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust.
“The entire functioning of CRCS will be digital from today. Be it audit work, HR work, establishing co-operative offices anywhere in the country, this portal is a one-stop solution for everything. More than 1500 co-operative societies will benefit from this online digital app, “he said.
Taking a dig at Congress, Amit Shah said, “In nine years, PM Modi has fulfilled all the dreams of citizens. Poor people have just been dreaming of having electricity, health services, and food for 70 years. PM Modi made it possible in the last 9 years.”
He further said that 42 per cent of co-operative societies are in Maharashtra and the state should take the highest benefit from it.
“There should be no tehsil which doesn’t have a cooperative food storage facility. No tax benefit was given to sugar mills with a retrospective effect. Tax won’t be levied on sugar mills in coming years and this has been made possible by PM Narendra Modi,” Amit Shah said.