Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has sent out a clear warning to the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) against unleashing violence on Mumbai’s streets. “Show your aggressiveness on the floor of the Assembly, not on the streets, else I will have to deal with you sternly.”
In an interview to Hindustan Times on Monday, Chavan minced no words when asked how he would deal with the MNS, expected to be more aggressive after winning 13 seats in the Assembly elections.
“I have a message for them. Let them be a constructive opposition party. I would be happy to see them being aggressive in the Assembly… I am warning them and even others not to take the law in their hands. Else be ready for strong action.”
“I have noticed that there were a couple of incidents of violence [last week]. If I see any such incident now, the offenders would have to pay heavily. Nobody is authorised to take the law in their hands,” Chavan said. He was referring to an incident in Kalyan last week where suspected MNS workers beat up a petrol pump owner for allegedly selling adulterated fuel.
Chavan, who will turn 51 on Wednesday, is set to be sworn in chief minister for a second term in the next few days.
Chavan said he was aware the expectations of the people were very high. “People have given us a clear mandate and naturally the expectations are high. I can assure them that we will provide good governance.”
He would give priority to execution of decisions. “The bureaucracy should not take me for granted. I will myself go to the field and see what is happening.”
Asked about the issue of corruption, he said: “I am not going to sign each and every file that is put before me.”
Mumbai would be a priority. “I am taking personal interest in completing the infrastructure projects in Mumbai. I am going to work out a time-bound plan and will periodically review the same.”