Taking a jibe at Sachin Tendulkar for his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over toll plazas, the Shiv Sena today said the cricket legend should speak out for the drought-affected farmers too.
"I welcome his stand on the toll plazas in the state. But while he is speaking for people being affected due to road toll, he should look into the issues of farmers as well. Farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha are committing suicide due to drought. That issue cannot be ignored," senior Sena leader and state transport minister Diwakar Raote told reporters.
Sachin Tendulkar Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Tendulkar, who is a Rajya Sabha member, had said in his letter that he was "deeply concerned about the present state of affairs concerning the operation of toll gates around the city of Mumbai" and would "sincerely request you to kindly reconsider the model of operation to reduce the physical and mental toll on citizens who travel in and out of the city".
Fadnavis, speaking in the Legislative Council today, said his government had taken note of Tendulkar's letter and it will find a way through all the legal issues to bring an end to toll plazas.
Incidentally, Raote, in a statement later in the evening, claimed that TV channels misquoted him on the issue. "After seeing the way my remarks were shown on TV channels many got annoyed and contacted me expressing their displeasure.
"Toll free Maharashtra and farmers' problems are two issues on which Sena is emphatic. I am sure that the stance taken by Sachin on Mumbai issues will be of help. If anyone's feelings have been hurt, I am tendering apology," he said.