CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said the BJP will fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of discontinuing with the Congress party after Independence and usher in a ‘Congress mukt’ Maharashtra after the state polls.
“After Independence, Mahatma Gandhiji had recommended the dissolution of the Congress. Today, BJP is strong enough to fulfil his long cherished dream. In the 2019 Assembly elections, we will ensure a ‘Congress Mukt Maharashtra’,” Fadnavis said from atop his mini-bus converted rath at Wardha, on the second day of his Mahajanadesh Yatra.
On Friday, the CM travelled to Wardha, Selu, Keljhar, Buti Bori, Hinganghat Samudranagar, Katol and Saoner talukas in Vidarbha. Politically, these belts had been Congress’ stronghold. In the 2014 state polls, of the 62 seats in Vidarbha, BJP had won 44, Shiv Sena four, Congress 10, NCP one and independents three.
Like on Thursday, when he travelled to Amravati, Fadnavis presented to those who gathered on the road to catch a glimpse of him an audit of what his government has done in the last five years. He continued to harp on the work undertaken by the government to build 30,000 km of rural road and 20,000 km of state highways. Fadnavis also spoke on how Jalyukta Shivar has helped farmers to sow at least one decent crop.
At Keljhar in Wardha, Fadnavis’ adopted village, he told villagers: “I will ensure that every project promised to the people here is implemented.”
At every taluka, he presented a report card to the people about area-specific projects. While interacting with locals in Buti Bori, he discussed plans to set up an industrial township there. “During the Congress-NCP rule, no investor volunteered. Today, we have a large number of industries wanting to explore the new industrial policy… Whether it is the integrated textile hub at Nandgaon Peth in Amravati or industries in Buti Bori, the government will leave no stone unturned to bring industrial growth in Vidarbha.”
Meanwhile, when asked by mediapersons why ally Shiv Sena is not part of his mass contact programme, Fadnavis said, “The yatra is not of the government. It’s a BJP yatra. The Shiv Sena is also conducting a yatra of its own. There is no confusion.”
On the issue of seat-sharing with the Sena, Fadnavis said talks will conclude soon. “There are some areas where we have won, like in Nagpur, and they have won in Konkan. There is no scope for either of us in constituencies where one party is strong. There can be swap of some seats in other areas,” he added.
While concluding day 2 of the yatra at Saoner in Nagpur district, Fadnavis said: “I am ‘mukhya sevak’ (chief servant) and not Mukhya-mantri (chief minister) …In the last five years, while working for you we did not think of ourselves or our families. We did not open any (private) industries, educational institutes or (created) empire for us… We did not let any stain of corruption on us or on our party in the last five years. Every single penny in the treasury was spent for the public.”
“In Maharashtra, only two chief ministers have completed their five-year tenure. Interestingly, both hailed from Vidarbha. One was late Vasantrao Naik of the Congress. The other is standing before you Devendra Fadnavis. Your mandate gave me an opportunity to lead Maharashtra. Now, I seek your absolute mandate to take Maharashtra to greater heights,” he added.