As the personal assistant to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he is no stranger to the corridors of powers. The BJP candidate from Ausa in Latur, Abhimanyu Pawar speaks to The Indian Express about how he hopes the development works undertaken in Ausa will help him wrest the seat from Congress.
You are the only person from the ‘Team CMO’ in the fray. How do you counter allegations of nepotism over your candidature?
As the personal assistant of the CM, I used to meet people a lot. Often I went beyond my brief to get work done not just in Latur but in other areas as well. In Ausa alone, I managed to bring development works worth over Rs 300 crore. I even got works for Latur City, Latur Rural and other areas of the district.
My association with the CM dates back to the early 2000s. My family has been associated with the RSS for four generations, automatically making me a part of BJP. Never did we think that our party would come to power but we were dedicated workers.
The CM had instructed me to be associated with this office and regarded me as a family member.
The question of nepotism does not arise. The BJP is a democratic party and every one has the right to seek a ticket. But it is expected that once the ticket is granted, all should work together as a team. I got the ticket only on the basis of work that I had done.
How do you plan to wrestle this seat, which has been held by the Congress barring only 10 years? Will the open revolt by a section of your party affect your chances?
The voters of Ausa have made up their mind to vote for the BJP. There is a wave for (Prime Minister) Narendra and Devendra and people would vote based on their good work. The activities of those who have defied the party whip are out in the open… I do not think it would affect me.
How would you solve the problem of water scarcity in Latur?
We have got a Rs 45-crore scheme sanctioned for Ausa, as part of which, drinking water would be brought to the area through a pipeline. The ambitious water grid project plans to interconnect the dams of the area, making drought a thing of the past. I am happy to say that the first work under the grid project will be undertaken in Ausa.
Ausa is a major pulse and soyabean production centre. What are your plans for these crops? Also, what is the status of the coach factory that was inaugurated here?
I have plans to develop a pulses cluster in Ausa. The industry is well developed but I am in touch with all the stakeholders to understand the problems that are faced. The work for the coach factory is almost 40 per cent complete. However, I do not think the deadline of December 25 will be met for commencement of the project.