Thursday, May 9, 2013

Traders accuse chief minister of divide and rule


Federation of Trade Associations of Pune (FTAP) have accused chief minister Prithviraj Chavan of using divide and rule tactics against traders.

On the first day of the indefinite strike FTAP president Popatlal Ostwal said that Chavan did not keep his word on local body tax (LBT) and major demands were unfulfilled. "This has forced the traders to resort to yet another indefinite market bandh," he said.

FTAP treasurer Fattechand Ranka said that Chavan's statement that a handful of traders and jewelers are leading this agitation is against a particular business community.

"In Mumbai, jewellers have participated in the bandh from today. So far they had kept their shops open. Similar is the situation in other cities. In Pune, since I am an office-bearer of the FTAP, I was in the forefront," he said.

Refuting chief minister's allegation that there is Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP)

hand behind the traders' strike, Ranka said, "Not only BJP, but even the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena backed the traders on LBT. Even the Congress MPs and Nationalist Congress Party leaders had backed the traders on the issue of LBT."

He added, "Those who are supporting the traders in their agitation will be helped accordingly during the 2014 elections."

He added that the state government had demanded four week's time in the Supreme Court for its argument. However, the apex court denied it and has asked the state to furnish their argument in two days The case will be heard on May 10, 2013.

When asked about the possible action on the traders for the violation of the Essential Commodities Act, Ranka said, "If the trader is not opening the shop, there is no question of violation of any act."
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