The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government, which had got a clear mandate to rule the state exactly a year ago, on Sunday chose not to celebrate its first anniversary. A major reason is the controversy over Adarsh Housing Society, which has jeopardised the fate of chief minister Ashok Chavan.
The past 12 months have been very eventful for Chavan. He scaled new highs in the beginning, but after the Adarsh scam surfaced, he found himself on a shaky ground.
Chavan replaced Vilasrao Deshmukh after 26/11 terror attacks in 2008 and a year later, he beat the competition to retain the office.
Chavan had a sparkling beginning. More so, because he had spent the previous year overseeing governance in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks, and he was under tremendous pressure of leading the Congress to success in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
Political experts say Chavan did not take off well after a golden start. “He failed to provide better governance and public service,” said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.
However, Jondhale said Chavan did a fantastic job in meeting the challenges from the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). “The chief minister used political bargain with the MNS to sideline the Sena. At the same time, he took a hard stand against these parties whenever required.”
But the analyst expected Chavan to deliver by ideating novel schemes that would impact the lives of the common man. “He did not work on the existing policies either.”
Infrastructure projects in Mumbai have been delayed. Metro and Monorail have extended their deadlines. Next stage of sea link is still in the nascent stage and there is no decision on the trans-harbour link as yet. After decades, much-needed water transport project is expected to take off next year. Redevelopment schemes are embroiled in controversies. “The Adarsh society scam could prove his nemesis,” said Jondhale.
Chavan’s office said he wouldn’t talk of his achievements because of the prevailing model code of conduct for the legislative council polls.
Both the Congress and the NCP did not organise any celebrations on Sunday. The parties are not sure who will fall victim to Adarsh scam. Those among Congress leaders embroiled in the scam include Chavan, his predecessors Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Sushilkumar Shinde; whereas from the NCP, it is legislator Jitendra Awhad, former speaker Babasaheb Kupekar and former MP Shriniwas Patil.