It’s been five years of fire-fighting for the state government — starting with the 2005 deluge, then the serial train blasts, continuing farmer suicides and finally the downturn and the four-day siege of 26/11.
But it’s not so much the circumstances that seem to bother voters as the state’s response to them, or lack thereof.
A little vision, integrity and political will would have gone a long way, but were instead sorely lacking, said civic activists and political analysts.
“The government has performed poorly,” said citizen activist G.R. Vora. “Their policies were shortsighted, focusing only on big-ticket schemes.”
Low-profile proposals to improve basic civic amenities were ignored in favour of flashy flyovers and subways, Vora added.
Political commentator Pratap Thorat said the government seemed to forget about the little people. “Entrepreneurs, farmers and the middle class had high expectations,” he said, “but the Cong-NCP government failed them miserably.”
Thorat added that the contrast with Gujarat — also formed in 1961 and celebrating its golden jubilee — was marked, the latter having emerged as an industry- and entrepreneur-friendly state.
No thought has been given to making farming viable again, added agro expert Chandrashekhar Wankhede. “All the state has done is throw money at the problem,” said Wankhede. “But the problem needs proper, long-term planning.”
Maharashtra Congress president Manikrao Thakre refuted all claims, citing the party’s sweep in the recent Lok Sabha elections as proof of the party’s high approval ratings. “We have helped all sections of society in all possible ways,” he said.