Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Thursday invoked the “Hindu Hriday Samrat” title of Bal Thackeray to win the confidence of unhappy ally Shiv Sena and recounted Congress-NCP government’s failures in critical sectors in the last 15 years to counter the Opposition.
In his strong speech in the Legislative Assembly, Fadnavis said, “Don’t judge my government on the basis of the first four months. Judge me through the commitment to socio-economic reforms, which is being pursued with a missionary zeal to make Maharashtra a leading state in India.” In a lighter vein, he said, “My government promises ache din, achi ratein.”
Fadnavis said his government had “inherited failures from the Congress-NCP, which would require massive efforts to streamline”.
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Sensing the challenges within the coalition, he reiterated his government’s commitment to build a memorial for the late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. “Even though we contested the assembly polls alone, every BJP leader, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, acknowledged the leadership of Bal Thackeray. I have already held a meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and shortlisted some places for the memorial,” Fadnavis said.
The CM touched upon all the contentious issues such as Metro III, Aarey Colony development plan, housing rights of Marathis and Mumbai as International Financial Centre in his two-hour speech.
Attacking former deputy CM Ajit Pawar who had questioned the government on drought, irrigation and law and order issues, Fadnavis said, “Whether it is irrigation or road projects, all were contractor-driven during the Congress-NCP rule. The Jalyukt Shivar scheme of my government will go a long way in making the state drought-free by 2019.”
He added, “I’m accused of using the schemes of Congress-NCP. But there is a paradigm shift in their and my approach. I have integrated all 14 schemes to ensure convergence of funds and command to ensure its effective implementation.”
Countering former minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s accusation of the government’s failure to ban toll tax, Fadnavis said, “I am committed to banning the toll tax. But the problem is the Congress-NCP government adopted contractor-driven schemes, which have landed us in a legal wrangle. In all mega projects, the MoUs had no provision for buyback, which is causing the delay.”
He also slammed the Congress-NCP for “false campaign” on river regulation zone laws. “We are not against promoting industries along river banks and all safeguards related to pollution and coastal regulation will be adhered to before sanctioning any project.”
In terms of industries, he said, “The 2016-17 economic survey will show Maharashtra has overtaken Gujarat in terms of investment. Last few years saw a decline in overall investment in the state compared to Gujarat.”
Stating that the government was committed to welfare of all castes, communities and classes, he said, “We will enforce Dhangar reservation. We will build memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea and of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Indu Mills land in Mumbai. It will not be exploited for any commercial use.”