CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that election compulsions had forced the Congress to change its position on the removal of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
In a media interaction held on the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Fadnavis also indicated that the BJP government was considering a merger of the crisis-laden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank with another bank to secure the interests of the depositors.
While admitting that the model code of conduct had impacted the proactiveness with which the government could have stepped in to resolve the banking crisis, Fadnavis said that he had already written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the issue.
On Thursday, former prime minister Manmohan Singh had nuanced the Congress’ position on the removal of J&K’s special status, saying the party believes that Article 370 was a “temporary measure” under the Constitution, while underlining that the “party had voted in favour of the dilution of Article 370 in Parliament but was opposed to the high-handed manner” in which it was done.
When the BJP’s election manifesto for the Maharashtra polls pledged a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, the Congress had initially slammed the ruling party for it. But on Thursday, Singh had said that the party was not against Savarkar but did not subscribe to his Hindutva ideology.
“The statements made by Manmohan Singh are in sharp contrast to the position taken by Rahul Gandhi during the Lok Sabha polls. It seems that election compulsions have forced the party to alter its position,” the CM said.
Defending the BJP’s strategy to use the dilution of Article 370 as a poll plank for the Maharashtra elections, Fadnavis said the “Opposition has been exposed on the issue”.
On the PMC Bank crisis, the CM said that the assets of the bank directors were being confiscated and that the state and the Centre had powers to auction them to recover the depositors money. Contending that “there was a possibility that money was siphoned off from dormant deposits”, Fadnavis also pointed a finger at the Reserve Bank of India, stating that the apex bank should reconsider its auditing systems. “The fraud happened over years. It should not have gone undetected,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the October 21 elections, Fadnavis, while admitting that the rebellion in the BJP and the Shiv Sena camps had impacted the alliance prospects, said that he remained confident that the BJP-led alliance would sweep the polls. “We will sweep in all regions in the state,” he said.
Fadnavis added that the central government had decided to invest Rs 100 lakh crore as capital investment in public sector to boost demand as a measure to revive the economy.