Mumbai, Mar 30 (IANS): A day after the Supreme Court's scathing remarks against the Maharashtra government as being "impotent" for failing to curb hate speeches, the state Congress on Thursday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
"The Shinde government has given a big blow to the image of Maharashtra in the past nine months. Communal clashes are on the increase due to the inflammatory speeches made by certain organisations, but no action is taken against them," said state Congress President Nana Patole.
Now, even the apex court has expressed its anger by calling the state government as "impotent" and "powerless" as it does not act promptly, and asked "why do we have a state at all if it is remaining silent", he added.
"This is a big slap on the government of Shinde-(Deputy Chief Minister Devendra) Fadnavis and they have forfeited the right to remain in power. Owing to their inaction, religious disputes are getting out of hand. They must immediately step down," Patole demanded.
Endorsing the SC's ire, he alleged that the state's law and order has totally collapsed and the MPs and MLAs of the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party openly bully the people and the Opposition leaders.
"A notorious bookie's family has open access to the Home Minister (Fadnavis)'s residence but he is unaware of it, elected leaders, former ministers and legislators are being threatened and attacked in the state but no action is initiated. A ruling party MLA fires bullets from his gun but he escapes police action," Patole said.
Referring to the Sakal Hindu Samaj (SHS)'s recent rallies which earned the SC's wrath, he pointed out that they have been making extremely provocative and inflammatory statements which have created a threat to social peace.
Some organisations have opposed and lodged police complaints, but the law-enforcers hands are tied down as the government is blatantly supporting the fanatic group, he added.
Patole said that the government is expected to curb such groups "but it lacks willpower" that allows these outfits to flourish, and tarnish the fair image of Mumbai and Maharashtra before the world.
"The word ('impotent') that the apex court used for the Maharashtra government has never been applied for any government till date... this itself shows how serious the deterioration is," said Patole.