On the eve of the budget session, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was in favour of transparency in all municipal corporations and agreed to appoint a committee to act as watchdog for the district councils as well. Fadnavis also said his government was positive about the loan waiver to farmers but did not promise an Upa Lokayukta for Nagpur civic body.
The Shiv Sena and the opposition tried to corner the CM by demanding a loan waiver for farmers after the BJP made a similar announcement for the Uttar Pradesh farmers. “If BJP leaders can promise loan waiver for farmers of UP then why can’t the same be implemented in our state?” Sena leader and environment minister Ramdas Kadam said adding that Fadnavis has assured them that he will meet the PM for this purpose.
Sena even asked for the appointment of deputy Lokayukta for Nagpur civic body and a committee of retired IAS officers to be formed to ensure transparency in district councils. The demand came in the wake of Fadnavis’ announcement of the appointment of a similar panel for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Saturday.
Fadnavis said he has agreed to appoint a committee for zilla parishads but why ask for an Upa Lokayukta when the Lokayukta is already in place for filing complaints against corrupt civic officials and corporators. “I have agreed to appointing a committee for zilla parishads. However, the state already has Lokayukta in place where complaints can be filed against civic officials and corporators of all the municipal corporations,” Fadnavis said.
Sena is clearly upset with the appointment of Upa Lokayukta for probing complaints pertaining to the Mumbai civic body where BJP was also sharing power for the last 22 years.
The party has earlier demanded transparency in cabinet meetings. Sena leaders believe that the BJP is trying to corner them on the issue of corruption and transparency while adopting similar strategy against its ally.
Reiterating his stand on loan waiver, Fadnavis said there cannot be any comparison between Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh as the situation and solutions of both the states are completely different. “Maharashtra farmers also need loan waiver and we are all for it. The government is trying to find out solutions so that farmers can be benefitted. We will waive off loans of farmers but at an appropriate time and will also take Centre’s help for the same,” Fadnavis told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
Fadnavis, however, claimed that his government was stable. He said the Sena and BJP are together in the state government and will continue to work. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray too has extended support to the government. “We have never concealed our differences and now when we are together why are you bothered?” he questioned.