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In Malegaon, Arif Naseem silent on district status, evasive on power tariff

Saturday December 01, 2012 02:35:16 PM, Staff Reporter



Malegaon: Maharashtra Minister of Textiles and Minority Development Department Arif Naseem Khan on a brief visit to the city Friday to address the All India Youth Congress convention kept complete silence on the government's reluctance to grant Malegaon a district status.


The minister also failed to satisfy the people on why the state government is delaying a decision on the revised electricity tariff for powerloom weavers as announced by the Chief Minister a month ago. Even though he was given more than a dozen memorandums demanding rollback of electricity tariff hike, in effect since August 2012, immediately after his arrival in the city and the issue that figured in the speeches of most of the local leaders, he was unclear on the issue and just said a decision on the matter is pending with the government. “A decision on the electricity tariff hike is pending with the cabinet and the outcome would be known very soon”, he said.


Arif Naseem Khan

Maharashtra Minister of Textiles and Minority Development Department Arif Naseem Khan on a brief visit to the city Friday to address the All India Youth Congress convention kept complete silence on the government's reluctance to grant Malegaon a district status.

Arif Naseem Khan also did not comment a word on other issues listed for a discussion in the convention including the demand to field five Muslims in Maharashtra in the parliamentary elections, special package for the city as suggested by his own ministry and subsidy for the textile industry.


He instead used the convention to list the “good work” done by his government both at the centre and the state in the past eight years and to seek votes for the party in the next elections.


“The communal forces are up in arms to destroy the secular fabric of the country. It is to check such forces we have introduced the Communal violence bill in the parliament”, he said while stating that the UPA government at the centre has decided to pass the bill in this session and urged the party workers to strengthen the Congress and defeat the communal forces in coming elections.


As against Arif Naseem Khan, who was totally out of the tune due to his inability to touch the local issues, Rajive Satav, president of the All India Youth Congress, an MLA from Kalamnuri in Maharashtra and one of the members of Rahul Gandhi brigade, provided some respite to the party workers gathered in a large number to see if the government had any immediate plan to address the local issues.


Expressing surprise over the way the government is keeping pending a decision on granting a district status to Malegaon, much to the delight of the party workers, he said, "I don’t see any reason why the government should keep it pending any more. It should decide on the matter while taking a decision on bifurcation of Thane district and formation of new districts."


'Party workers unconvinced'

The Youth Congress convention though attracted a good crowd, it failed to convince most of the party workers who took a day off for the much publicised meet.

“Leaders come and promise. But the condition for us remains the same as the promises made by leaders never light of the day”, Abdul Haque (35) said while talking to after the convention.

72-year old Shaikh Sagiruddin was even more skeptical. “I have spent my entire life in this city and have attended many rallies that always had this demand. But, what else can one expect from a government that cannot fulfil a demand repeated so many times in last thirty years, ”, he said referring to the government’s refusal to grant a district status for the city.


A large number of Congress leaders including MLA Sudhir Tambe, Satyajit Gaikwad, former MLA Shaikh Rasheed, local Congress President Shaikh Asif and other were present in the convention. Preparations for the convention were on for the last one month. But the convention which started at around 03:15 lasted for about one-and half hour.







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Dhananjay Bele, President of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers Association (NIMA). addressing the industrialists' meet in Malegaon Friday. The meeting was organised as part of Malegaon Mahautsav 2012, a three day event which began on January 06.




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