W ith the Shiv Sena dropping signals of joining the BJP government in Maharashtra and the NCP already having declared outside support to it, the Congress Saturday attempted to wrest the opposition space.
Relegated to the third position in the state it ruled for 15 years, Congress can stake claim for the Opposition leader’s post if Shiv Sena, the second largest party in the new state legislature, decides to sit in government.
The Congress Saturday fired its first salvo at the BJP and its Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “During the election campaigning, the BJP made various promises. Time has come for them to start delivering on these,” said state Congress president Manikrao Thakre.
He also said Fadnavis must come clean on the decisions of the erstwhile government that he plans to roll back.
Taking over reins of the state, Fadnavis had said on Friday that decisions taken by the Congress-NCP government in the run-up to polls would be reviewed and the “ones not in public interest would be rolled back.” He had also said that the already overburdened state exchequer would have to be further burdened with a Rs 52,000 crore loan if his government were to implement all pre-poll assurances given by the erstwhile regime. “Some of these are non-starters,” Fadnavis had said.
Thakre said the Congress-NCP government had taken some important farmer-friendly decisions such as farm electricity waiver. “He (Fadnavis) must clarify the decisions he now wants to roll back,” Thakre said.
Claiming that the Congress will play the role of a “constructive opposition”, the state Congress chief said his party would support the Right to Services legislation being planned by the BJP in the near future. Turning the heat on the BJP over the toll and local body taxes, Thakre said, “The BJP had run an election campaign where they announced that these would be abolished if the BJP came to power. It must now deliver on these assurance.”
In a bid to regain its support among farmers and peasant, the Congress also demanded that the government must set up purchase centres immediately for cotton and soybean produce.