Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis observed fast here along with other BJP MPs and MLAs, and hit out at the opposition saying it does not have any alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP leader across the country are sitting on a day-long fast today to corner the opposition over the recent washout of the Budget session of Parliament.
Fadnavis, along with Lok Sabha members Poonam Mahajan (North Central Mumbai) and Paresh Rawal (Gujarat), local MLAs Parag Alavani, Amit Satam and Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar sat on the day-long fast at the party office in suburban Vile Parle.
The chief minister said, “People know contradictions of the opposition parties. They can’t stay together. What is the alternative to Modi in terms of policies, programmes and leadership? The opposition only wants power…(but) they don’t have an alternative to Modi.”
He also alleged that most of the atrocities on Dalits took place during the Congress rule.
“The Dalit and tribal entrepreneurship is being encouraged by the Modi government,” he pointed out.
“Public hai, public sab jaanti hai (this is the public, it knows everything,” Fadnavis said.
Lashing out at the Congress, he said, “People have seen you and tolerated you.
“Until the Congress learns to respect and preserve democracy, don’t send their members to Parliament,” he appealed to people.
Fadnavis, while leaving the venue, said he was going to Nanded on official work.
“Don’t worry, I will not have ‘chole bhature’,” he said in a dig at the Congress over its leaders “seen having food” before their fast on Monday.
“Our struggle to preserve the democratic values will continue,” Fadnavis said.
A street play was performed in front of him, highlighting the government’s achievements, like demonetisation, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Jalyukt Shivar campaign (aimed at improving irrigation facilities in Maharashtra) and other welfare programmes for farmers.
The BJP has accused the opposition Congress of disrupting Parliament during the recent Budget session to prevent debates on various issues.
On the occasion, Rawal said the Congress did not allow Parliament to function as it does not have any issue to raise.
“We decided to forgo our salaries as the Congress did not allow Parliament to function. But, the Congress members have taken their salaries,” he claimed.
Rawal mocked the Congress’ fast on Monday as “farce” over some of its leaders “seen having food” before the protest.
Shelar accused the Congress of “wasting Rs 430 crore of the taxpayers” by disrupting Parliament session.
Kirit Somaiya, the BJP MP from North East Mumbai, sat on the protest near the Bhandup railway station.
He said, “Today around 350 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members of the BJP are observing the fast against the Congress’ unruly behaviour in Parliament because of which the proceedings of Parliament were washed out.”
“The Congress and other opposition parties did not allow Parliament to function for 23 days, and 17 important Bills were passed without debate. We wanted to discuss about the alleged bank scams of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, the non-performing assets (NPAs) of Rs 52 lakh crore, among other important issues,” he said.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal observed the fast in neighbouring Thane city.
He alleged that the Congress had “disgraced the Constitution” framed by Dr B R Ambedkar.
“Ambedkar’s hard and noble work has been disgraced by the Congress by not allowing Parliament to function,” he further said.
“Not only the BJP leaders and workers, but I think people across the country are appalled by the opposition parties, specially the Congress,” Goyal said.
The social media cell of the BJP also ran a campaign called #FastWithPMModi.
“When the Nation wants us to talk, Congress takes our Democracy for a walk. We stand together with our Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji to remind them of the duties of the opposition! Join us today at District BJP Office in Vile Parle,” Mahajan tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today led his party leaders in observing the day-long fast.
Addressing party MPs yesterday through an audio conference call, Modi had said the BJP leaders and its workers will observe the fast to “expose” those handful of people who “throttled” democracy by stalling Parliament proceedings during the budget session.