Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has assured the 12 independent MLAs, who were threatening to boycott the Rajya Sabha by-polls, that development work in the range of Rs20 crore to Rs45 crore would be undertaken in their respective constituencies in the next three years.
However, the government will have to make special allocation for this purpose, or else it will have to cut expenditure on other planned projects and schemes.
The independents had accused the CM and other Congress ministers of not approving their recommendations, saying that they were being treated as stepchildren despite supporting the Congress-led government.
Ravi Rana, leader of the independent flock, which has been supporting the Congress ever since it came to power in November 2009, confirmed to HT that the CM has agreed to provide for a grant of Rs45 crore in his Badnera segment near Amravati in central Vidarbha.
“My proposal includes a state-of-the-art hospital and other developmental works. The CM assured my other 11 colleagues hefty grants over the remaining term period,” said Rana.
Sources said some legislators demanded that they be appointed head of the state-run corporations. CM is reported to have responded positively keeping in mind the forthcoming legislative council polls, where the votes of these independents would be crucial. Unlike the Rajya Sabha polls, the legislative council polls are held in a secret ballot method and hence they could spring surprises.
“The CM summoned senior bureaucrats and told them to expedite our proposals,” said Rana. Justifying their demand, Rana said they were elected representatives and they had all the right to get funds for development. “People in our constituency expect us to get funds and we have to meet their demands,” he said. Bacchu Kadu from Achalpur did not specify the grant sanctioned, but said the CM has assured to meet each independent.