Maharashtra CM failed to address problems faced by artists during lockdown, says BJP MLA Ashish Shelar

A delegation of painters and sculptors led by BJP leader Ashish Shelar called on state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhawan on Saturday. Talking to media persons, Shelar said every year over 10,000 painters and sculptors exhibit their art to earn a livelihood, but there have been no exhibitions since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Taking a dig at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Shelar said, “We have a CM who is passionate about photography. Strangely, he failed to focus on the problems of artists, sculptors and photographers.” The entire sector was reeling under severe hardship during the lockdown, he pointed out.

It is important that the state government reaches out to these artists, he said, adding that states like Karnataka have already extended help to artists. “The MVA government’s indifference is apparent. Their slogan is ‘We will not work, we will not allow others to work,” the BJP leader said.

Commenting on the MVA government’s growing criticism against probes by central agencies in the state, Shelar said, “Why should the government find fault with central agencies which are exposing the corruption and drug racket in Maharashtra?”

“The minister whose son-in-law was nabbed for possessing drugs must be immediately kicked out of the cabinet. Such ministers contribute towards maligning the image of Maharashtra… There are police officers who have disclosed how the force was misused by a former minister to extort funds from liquor shops and bars. Now these are the issues which should concern the government,” he said.

The BJP MLA from Bandra West added, “I would like to remind the chief minister that law and order still prevails in the country and it must prevail in Maharashtra as well.” He remarked that the government was conveying that it won’t allow anyone to speak up against corruption, nor will any action be taken against those nabbed in drug cases or those who talk about atrocities faced by women.

“When people’s issues are raised by the Opposition, the government raises a hue and cry saying it sullies the state’s image. The CM should know that he cannot cover up the wrongdoings forever. Instead, the state government should crack the whip against those indulging in wrongdoings,” he insisted.