Hitting back at his critics for labelling him “inefficient”, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday claimed a propaganda against him was being spread by those whose interests had been hurt in various projects.
“This description (of me being inefficient) is incorrect. This view was propagated by those whose interests were hurt. If that really was the case, how come major decisions were taken by my government,” Chavan said.
“Many decisions, like the one on Maratha reservation, were pending for several years. No one took the decision,” the Chief Minister said in a TV interview.
“I tried to bring in transparency in Mumbai real estate sector and unlock the land value so that it went to the state exchequer. In all this, definitely, vested interests of some people were hurt,” he said.
Asked if he felt the builder lobby was behind the campaign to malign his image, Chavan said, “I won’t say the builder lobby…but definitely, those who had interests in these realty projects campaigned and indulged in propaganda (against me).”
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“Assurances were given in our 2004 and 2009 poll manifesto that we would regularise the pre-2000 slums but it could not be done. But my government did it,” said Chavan who assumed office in November 2010.
“(If I am inefficient), how come such major decisions were taken? We faced drought. The state is number one on industrial front,” he said.
“If someone talks of a (Gujarat) model, I am ready for a public comparison between Maharashtra and Gujarat. How come Maharashtra is number one?” he said.
“Today, the malnutrition rate in the state has gone down and it is being discussed globally. How did this happen?” Chavan said.
“That is why, I feel this accusation (of me being inefficient) was made by those whose interests were hurt, specially (in) my efforts to cleanse the Mumbai real estate sector,” the chief minister said.
I want to tell the people of Maharashtra…how come the decisions were taken (if I am inefficient)? When you talk of “paralysis of governance”, how come such major decisions were taken? The priority is for work which is in the interest of the common people, he said.
Chavan’s “paralysis” remark is apparently his rebuff to the barb by NCP chief Sharad Pawar that he was delaying decisions on crucial issues.
Pawar had said at a public function in Pune last year that “I don’t know whether (his) hands are paralysed when it comes to signing files. I hear there are files pending for three months.”