Uddhav Thackeray meets Devendra Fadnavis, demands full-time Home Minister in state

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and put forward his demand for a full-time Home Minister, following recent attacks on police personnel in the state.

“We are not demanding that there should be a separate Home minister merely because we have a penchant to do so. The police, society and the state want a full-time minister, a Home minister who can function efficiently,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Thackeray met Fadnavis over the concerns harboured by families of policemen after the attacks.

Uddhav also sought stringent action against those involved in attempted drowning of a policeman during immersion of Ganesh idol in Kalyan in Thane district.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister said a committee will be formed to address issues related to police and families. Their family members will be included in this committee, he said.

Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio, is “capable and competent, but has been overburdened by work lately,” Sena chief said.

“I think the Home Department needs a separate minister to check attacks on police.

“I demanded three things from the CM — safety of cops in state, proper implementation of law, and strict punishment to attackers,” the Sena president said.

Thackeray, who met Fadnavis at his official residence ‘Varsha ‘in Malabar Hill area of South Mumbai, was accompanied by a few Sena ministers Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote and Deepak Kesarkar and families of policemen.

Kesarkar is the Minister of State for Home.

The police families residing in Worli’s BDD chawl had expressed their anger over the attack on traffic cop Vilas Shinde, who was allegedly beaten up by two youths following which he succumbed to his injuries on August 31.

Fadnavis said the government will consider all demands of the families of police personnel.

He informed them of various initiatives taken by the state government for police welfare, including full day salary for working on holiday, inclusion of police in PM Awas Yojna and provision of Rs 2,000 crore for police housing this year.

He also assured them of setting up of a committee to address their issues and inclusion of their family members in the panel.

The chief minister also informed that the government was working on some unique initiatives for police health, and to increase interaction between police and public.

A skill training programme for wives of policemen is also being planned.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had also recently spoken against the incident and met the families of policemen.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said Ganpat Gaikwad, the independent MLA from Kalyan East who now supports BJP, had intervened in the Kalyan matter. “This is a serious issue,” he said.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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