The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the largest party in Maharashtra, winning 120 out of the 288 seats and is all set to form the next government in Maharashtra.
It now has an option to reunite with Shiv Sena that won 62 seats or accept support from the Sharad Pawar-led NCP that won 41 seats.
BJP, riding on the Modi wave is expected to bring about 'achhe din' in Maharashtra. Here are three hurdles that the next Maharashtra chief minister will have to tackle:
1) Infrastructure development and boost to industry
Mumbai needs a makeover, if it has to retain its tag as the country’s financial capital and remain relevant as a global city. The megapolis needs faster pace of development vis-a-vis infrastructure –sea links, metro rails or the new airport – besides a boost for mass housing. The state government also needs to focus on improving infrastructure in developing towns and metros as that is directly proportional to the investment the state attracts from industries. Maharashtra gets the maximum foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, but it has failed to create conducive environment for setting up new industries.
2) Zero tolerance to corruption
Maharashtra is notorious for institutionalised corruption, where no file moves or public service is delivered without greasing palms of some authority. The new state government should focus on transparency in providing basic public services, be it land records or handing out government certificates, licenses, building approvals, or even in case of government transfers. If the new chief minister adopts a no-nonsense approach when it comes to corruption, it will send out the right signal to the entire administration.
3) Tackling agrarian crisis
Close to 54% of the state’s population is engaged in the agriculture sector even though agrarian productivity has seen a considerable drop, with many terming farming as increasingly unviable. In the past decade, Maharashtra has registered 50,000 farmer suicides, especially in the backward areas of Vidarbha and Marathwada. Efficiently tackling the state’s agrarian crisis is at the heart of alleviating rural poverty. The new chief minister should prioritise improving agriculture productivity, and take the sector to the next level. This can be done by upgrading the supply chain management for farm produce, incentivising allied agro industry, changing land use and crop patterns and banking on water shed development rather than big dams. Despite spending crores, the state’s irrigation potential of 18. 9% is below the national average.