The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday published a charge-sheet against the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government for not having fulfilled any of the promises made in the last 10 years of its rule.
Calling the two terms of the government a “black chapter” in Maharashtra’s history, BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde termed the charge sheet a “post-mortem, which always exposes the truth, of the governments doings” and an attempt to “expose the gap between the government’s words and actions.”
Speaking to journalists at the party office here, the BJP’s national spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, “In 2004, for instance, the government promised to provide free electricity to farmers. After winning the elections, they provided free electricity for only four months. After that there was no electricity provided to farmers, leave alone free electricity.”
He pointed out: “The Union Power Minister is from Maharashtra but the State suffers from the highest amount of load shedding in the country. The Union Petroleum Minister is from Maharashtra, but diesel and petrol prices are highest in the State. The Union Agriculture and Food Supplies Minister is from Maharashtra, and yet the State’s population is reeling under inflation of the prices of essential commodities.”
Similarly, he said that the government had not fulfilled its promises of a minimum support price of Rs. 2,700 per quintal under the cotton purchase scheme; restarting defunct mills and rehabilitation of mill workers; providing for 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs; and regularising slums in Mumbai that came up before the year 2000.
Blaming the government for its insensitivity, the charge sheet said that the then president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, Prabha Rau, had called the electoral promises a “printing mistake.” The former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had once held the farmers of Vidarbha responsible for their own backwardness.
The terror attacks in November last exposed the insensitivity of the government, and, to save face, the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister had to be changed.
Mr. Munde said, “People’s anger has not disappeared with the leadership change. The new CM and deputy CM are fighting between themselves not over people’s issues but over whose tender to pass first.”
He said that if voted to power the BJP-Shiv Sena government would re-evaluate the decisions taken by the present government and revoke those taken in a hurry or without the State’s interest in mind. Action would also be taken against officers and Ministers held responsible for the decisions.
He held the Congress-NCP government responsible for increasing the State’s debt from Rs.30,000 crore in 1999 (when the BJP-Shiv Sena government went out of power) to Rs.1,87,000 crore in 2009. Maharashtra had been converted from a power surplus State to one which had load shedding up to 18 hours a day in the rural areas.
As a result, a State like Gujarat, which was way behind Maharashtra in development terms in 1960 when the two were formed, had today overtaken its counterpart. Mr. Munde said that the BJP-Shiv Sena’s priority would be resolve the drought situation, provide regular electricity to rural areas for a minimum of 10 hours, and eventually solve the electricity crisis so as to develop small-scale industries and attract industries. He said that Tata Motors went to Gujarat to set up its plant for Nano because of the electricity shortage in Maharashtra.
The charge sheet held the government responsible for an increase in terror and naxal attacks, malnutrition, child deaths, failure in tackling the drought and the swine flu pandemic, and failure in completing infrastructure projects like four-laning of the Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Nashik highways.