Ex-CM Chavan takes on Maha govt over BJP-Sena tussle 

Mumbai: The constant sparring between the BJP and Shiv Sena has “paralysed” the Maharashtra government, former chief minister Ashok Chavan today said, listing the ruling dispensation’s various `failures’.  The Devendra Fadnavis government completed three years in the office today. “The tussle between ruling partners has completely paralysed the government, which has cost the state dearly.Credibility of the administration has taken a big hit as the Sena loses no opportunity to criticise the government, nor does it have the courage to pull out,” the state Congress chief told a news agency in an interview.

This constant bickering has severely dented the state’s image at the global level and affected the flow of investment from foreign countries, Chavan claimed. “The biggest failure of the BJP-led government (at the Centre) was demonetisation as the whole purpose behind the exercise was defeated,” he said. “While people were toiling for their hard-earned money standing in queues and losing lives, (new) fake notes were out in no time,” he said. Despite the promise made (by the BJP) ahead of the 2014 Assembly elections, farmer suicides are on rise in the state rather than ceasing, he said.

“The government’s assurance of loan waiver for farmers proved to be hollow. It claimed the package would be worth Rs 34,000 crore. Later it made various changes to (eligibility) conditions and ultimately the amount that is to be disbursed has turned out to be much less,” he said. “And now when the government knows it has been caught out, it is blaming banks, saying they gave wrong figures of (eligible) farmers,” the Nanded MP added. Last year the fresh farm loan distribution by Diwali was 78 per cent of the yearly target, whereas this year the fresh loan distribution has reached hardly 38 per cent so far, he said, adding that the government is, thus, forcing farmers to approach private money lenders. The GDP growth rate is abysmally low, unemployment numbers are at their highest in decades and there are no jobs, Chavan said. The Make in India and Make in Maharashtra programmes have turned out to be mere slogans, the Congress leader said.

“Only announcements have been made, but no implementation. Maharashtra is steadily losing the tag of most preferred state for investment. Regions like Marathwada continue to remain backward….This government has been a failure on the administrative front,” Chavan said. Voting trends in the state are changing, he claimed, citing the results of recent local elections in Nanded (his home turf), Parbhani, Bhiwandi and Malegaon.

“We have won a substantially large number of gram panchayats as well, though the BJP may continue to contest our figures,” he said. The elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will set the stage for BJP’s “losing streak” that is about to start, he said.

The Congress is launching `Jan Akrosh’ agitation in the state from today to highlight various issues including the plight of farmers, inflation and fuel price hike, he said. Protests will be held at various places including Ahmednagar, Mahad, Osmanabad, Amravati, Chandrapur and Sangli, he said, adding that November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, will be observed as a “black day.”