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Raj Thackeray seeks deferment of Maharashtra polls to 2020 due to floods

PTI Mumbai | Updated on August 10, 2019 Published on August 10, 2019

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Saturday sought deferment of the upcoming Assembly polls, due in September-October, to the next year citing the large scale devastation caused by floods in western region of the state.

Observing that it would take time to restore normalcy in the flood-hit districts, Thackeray has sought intervention of the Election Commission to postpone the elections. “I would also write to the poll panel on the issue,” he told reporters. The Opposition has been accusing the state government of inept handling of the flood situation.

“The situation there (in Western Maharashtra) is unlikely to be brought under control until October given the large scale devastation. The code of conduct will come into force in September and the government will stop the relief work citing the same. So it is better to postpone the polls to the next year,” Thackeray said.

Observing that lakhs of people in Kolhapur and Sangli districts have lost the shelter, the MNS chief has expressed fear of breaking out of an epidemic once the water levels recede. “It will take more time to restore normalcy there,” he said. He accused the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena of being “ruthless” towards the plight of people and “occupied with politics“.

Thackeray, who has been backing the Congress and the NCP on various issues against the ruling NDA, also accused the government of not providing adequate assistance to flood victims. The MNS, which has witnessed a huge slide in popularity from once sending 13 MLAs to the Assembly to no representation, has been struggling to stay afloat in the state politics.

Apparently referring to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Thackeray alleged while the ruling BJP can spend Rs 3,000 crore on constructing a statue but it cannot extend adequate relief to save the lives of the people in Maharashtra.

Published on August 10, 2019

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