In what shows that the state of Maharashtra is moving towards an unsafe, anti-development governance model under the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena coalition government, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has given in-principle approval to the objectionable demand of withdrawing cases related to the Bhima Koregaon violence that took place last year.
Officials have said that the withdrawal will start in patches and will take around a year to complete. A total of 386 matters related to the Bhima Koregaon violence have been selected for withdrawal. A senior official of the Maharashtra Home Department has confirmed this development, saying, “We have forwarded the report to the CM today and he has taken a call on it. These will be forwarded to the Director-General of Police, who will then forward it to the judiciary for starting the process of withdrawal.”
The withdrawal of cases against Bhima Koregaon urban Naxals creates a major safety scare for the state of Maharashtra. The Bhima Koregaon violence case had exposed the Urban Naxals active in the country and how the ideology of Naxalism was not restricted to just a few isolated pockets of the country. The Pune Police had filed a charge-sheet, according to which the accused were directly involved with promoting the propaganda of the banned outfit- the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and were also trying to overthrow a democratic government. In fact, the Uddhav Thackeray led party had itself come down heavily on those involved in the Bhima Koregaon violence and had earlier compared them to the terror outfit, Al-Qaeda in an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana.
In fact, the Uddhav Thackeray led government has withdrawn a number of cases out of sheer political vindictiveness against the BJP. He has dropped cases against 29 activists involved in the Aarey metro coach project agitation. He has also withdrawn cases against those who had agitated against the construction of a multi-billion dollar refinery in Nanar in the Ratnagiri district.
With withdrawal of cases against Nanar refinery protestors and Aarey hooligans, Uddhav Thackeray is giving a huge boost to those who stand in the way of Maharashtra’s development. While the Aarey metro rail coach project is crucial to the expansion of Mumbai Metro as Metro Line 3 project won’t be functional without the depot, the Rs. 3 lakh crore Nanar refinery project is an ambitious project wherein Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer is going to invest a huge amount of FDI. Environmental vigilantism has been a huge roadblock in the way of both these projects, and now the Uddhav Thackeray government seems to be further strengthening such anti-development elements, masquerading as activists. The newly sworn-in Maharashtra CM has already stalled the Aarey metro car shed project in spite of the Bombay High Court allowing the construction of the metro depot and is now following it up even further by dropping cases against those who had tried to create hiccups in the smooth progress of these developmental projects.
Uddhav Thackeray is both insecure and vindictive towards the BJP. What started as an embitterment of political relations between Shiv Sena and the BJP emanating out of the former’s megalomania, is now taking the shape of sheer vengeance. Shiv Sena supremo has made the fight too personal and has taken political vindictiveness to just another level. In this political turmoil, he has clearly lost the plot and is going overboard in his attempts to settle scores with the BJP. Unfortunately, Maharashtra’s security and development are going to be the direct casualties of his vindictive brand of politics.