Amit Shah's remarks on Maha sugar units devoid of fact: Dy CM

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Nagpur, Feb 7 (PTI) Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah's claim that sugar cooperatives held by BJP leaders are being victimised by the state government was 'devoid of facts'.

Speaking after inaugurating a private medical college in Kankavli in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra earlier in the day, Shah also said, 'If we would have followed your path, your party would have lost its relevance'.

'Many of us are associated with sugar factories and why will we ourselves cause trouble in these units. A person should speak what sounds believable. There is no such (victimisation). A policy has been in place regarding sugar firms,' Pawar told reporters.

When asked about Shah's remarks that he never made any promise to erstwhile ally Shiv Sena on sharing the post of chief minister after the 2019 Assembly polls, the NCP leader said that raising an old issue will not make it new.

'They (Sena and BJP) only knew what had happened between them. What can I say? I am not an astrologer. I didn't know what happened,' said Pawar whose party is the second major constituent in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.

Speaking on the issue of protests by farmers, Pawar said the solution seems impossible if they (the Centre) lacks will to resolve the issue.

'It is unprecedented that agitating farmers are being stopped by rolling out nails on roads (in Delhi). Leaders of Opposition parties, including NCP's Supriya Sule, were also prevented from meeting the agitating farmers. This clearly indicates the anti-farmer approach (of the government),' he said.

Pawar also raised concerns over the rising rates of steel and cement despite the low demand.

'Such price rise raises doubts whether steel manufacturers have formed a ring together,' he added.

The deputy CM also said the state government expected that the COVID-19 vaccination programme be implemented by the Centre, 'as it would be (financially) unviable for states to run it'. PTI CLS NSK NSK