THE DEVENDRA Fadnavis government went into a scramble to beat the model code of conduct for the state polls, clearing a raft of decisions within a week in an attempt to reach out to various sections of voters.
Between September 16 (Monday) and September 21 (Saturday), the government adopted 620 resolutions, with 99 of them taken on Friday itself. Sources said that the last bid measure was seemingly to push development works in Assembly segments represented by legislators of the ruling combine and the Opposition turncoats who have recently been inducted into the BJP.
A majority of the decisions were related to revenue expenditure. State’s fiscal managers said that the last minute spend will further burden the exchequer, which is reeling under a mounting public debt.
The Congress, meanwhile, alleged “largescale corruption” in the decisions taken in the past week. Contending that many of the decisions were taken for “pecuniary gains” and to “oblige the BJP-Shiv Sena workers” ahead of the polls, state Congress leader Sachin Sawant approached Maharashtra Lokayukta Justice (retd) M L Tahaliyani, demanding an “inquiry into the decisions”.
Sawant also demanded “cancellation” of all decisions “taken after” the code of conduct came into force. The BJP rubbished these allegations.
Among the decisions taken by the government, the highest priority was given to administrative approvals to various water supply and irrigation projects in the drought-prone Marathwada, Vidarbha and north Maharashtra. Of the 620 resolutions adopted in the past week, 101 were taken in connection to departments related to water resources, water supply and sanitation and soil and water conservation.
Another 59 decisions were pertaining to the release of grants to urban and rural local bodies and institutions for various development programmes. Under the rural development department, several projects for road upgradation in rural belts were sanctioned last week, while the urban development department released grants mainly to BJP-ruled municipalities for implementation of various schemes.
The state revenue department, which took 40 decisions during the period, released grants for civic amenity works in several urban areas, while funds were also released for development works in minority areas. In an attempt to woo industrialists, a revised industrial promotion and package scheme of incentives was green flagged.
With the Opposition targeting the government over agrarian distress ahead of the polls, the state agriculture, dairy development and fisheries departments sanctioned proposals for providing financial assistance for farming and poultry rearing to various farmer groups.
A one-time grazing subsidy was announced for nomadic tribes.
In Mumbai, the government announced a move to regularise “squatters” illegally residing in the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s transit shelters, and also declared incentives for self-redevelopment of housing societies. With Mumbai’s real estate sector facing a liquidity freeze, the government doled out a Rs 2,200-crore fiscal stimulus package for the sector, reducing construction premiums and charges.
The ambitious Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project was given a leg-up with the government according it the status of an “infrastructure” project.
Transfers and postings were also much sought after in the week leading to the imposition of the code of conduct.