Accusing the state government and the Centre of failing to tackle irrigation and land scams in the state and inflation in the country, the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans to hold a jail bharo agitation today.
The stir is in response to a decision taken at the national level of the BJP to hold an agitation in which party workers and top leaders will court arrest in various districts of the country. The agitation by the city unit of the party will be led by BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar at Balgandharva Chowk, where thousands of party workers are expected to court arrest.
Mungantiwar, who will be participating in a protest in the city for the first time, said all arrangements and decision on the protest had been made. “A meeting of all party officials has already been held and responsibilities assigned to each one of them,” he said. “Now we are all ready to march towards Balgandharva Chowk, where we all will court arrest.”
Local party worker Shripad Dhekane said the protest was not only against the UPA government at the Centre but also the Democratic Front government in the state that is involved in various scams. “The protest will also be against the recent irrigation scam in which the state government hasn’t yet announced a white paper,” Dekhane said. “Along with our protest over increasing inflation, we are going to demand a white paper on the irrigation scam as soon as possible.”
BJP MLA Girish Bapat said party workers from various parts of the city would gather at Balgandharva Chowk and will hold a rasta roko till they are arrested.
“Around 2,000 party workers are expected to take part in this,” Bapat said. The Shiv Sena, the BJP’s oldest ally, may have the same poor opinion of the UPA government’s policies but it will not take part in the protest.
“We haven’t received any orders from the Sena supremo on taking part in the protest,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said. “It’s their (BJP) protest, so there is no question of participating in the protest.” Among the top BJP leaders who will participate in the jail bharo andolan at various place in the country are party president Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur, M Venkaiah Naidu in Mumbai, Sushma Swaraj in Bhopal, and Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Delhi.