Taking potshots at his predecessors Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday alleged that rules had been bent to favour builders.
“Builders are not untouchable. But back then, there was a sort of ‘understanding’ between politicians and builders and so there was a monopoly of few. Now we have ‘rule-based governance’, and so there is justice to all,” he said at an award function.
Legislators owing allegiance to both Chavan and Deshmukh have been vocal against the CM’s style of functioning.
Elaborating on the issue of clearance of files, Chavan said that there has been a paradigm shift in the system.
With tools like Right to Information (RTI) Act, public interest litigations, and NGO movements, file clearances are not done in a huff by a secretary or a minister, he said.
“Decisions are taken by committees and in the cabinet. If there is no consensus on an issue, the file gets stuck and decisions are derailed. I cannot toss a coin and take a decision, and I am sure Maharashtra does not expect its chief minister to close his eyes and sign a file,” Chavan said.
He said that the most difficult files which have made him take time are those related to revenue and urban development, where decisions taken decades ago seem outdated and any wrong one can invite criticism and have ill-effects.
He added that in case of projects like parking and housing, stakeholders’ views should be taken into account.
Chavan’s direct attack on his predecessors who are also from the Congress has shocked many of his party colleagues as it has been just three days since the party patched-up with its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party.