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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019: It is possible to have the post of deputy CM, says Fadnavis

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday expressed confidence that the saffron combine would sweep power in the state in the elections on Monday, even though he admitted that the rebels could have an impact.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 19, 2019 14:59 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said former PM Manmohan Singh’s statement on Kashmir and Veer Savarkar, diverging from the official Congress stand, was a means of ‘damage control’ and a result of ‘election compulsion’.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said former PM Manmohan Singh’s statement on Kashmir and Veer Savarkar, diverging from the official Congress stand, was a means of ‘damage control’ and a result of ‘election compulsion’. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
         

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday expressed confidence that the saffron combine would sweep power in the state in the elections on Monday, even though he admitted that the rebels could have an impact. Speaking to Hindustan Times and a section of print media late on Friday, the chief minister said they would consider having a deputy chief minister’s post in their second stint in power. It is being said that the Sena will get the post as part of their alliance agreement.

Rebels within the saffron camp – both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sena – have challenged official candidates in 40-50 seats.

“There are rebels in both the parties and this will have some impact on the election results, but not much. It is because both the parties have strong supporters, who vote purely on the symbol and I expect winning margins of our candidates to be substantial.”

When asked about the deputy chief minister’s post, he said: “We will think about it and yes it is possible to have a deputy chief minister’s post.”

Fadnavis said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on Kashmir and Veer Savarkar, diverging from the official Congress stand, was a means of “damage control” and a result of “election compulsion”.

“The former PM’s statements seem like damage control. The statement of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Savarkar ahead of the Lok Sabha elections was very different. They have been forced to change their stand. Even over Kashmir, despite what Dr Singh said, the Congress had vehemently opposed the scrapping of Article 370 in Parliament,” said the chief minister.

He said it was clear that people had given unprecedented support to scrapping Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and this had forced the Congress to change its stance. He also refuted Dr Singh’s remarks that the slowdown had affected Maharashtra and Mumbai the most by saying that it was a “political statement”.

The chief minister, however, admitted that there was slowdown in terms of the difference between the expected and actual growth rate, but it could not be termed recession. He maintained India would continue to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, even with 5.7% GDP.

“In another year, we expect to achieve good growth rate. The Centre has planned to invest ₹100 lakh crore in the next five years, which is unprecedented. That will debottle the entire economy and create employment opportunities,” said Fadnavis.

He said the BJP government would explore the possibility of a merger of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank with another bank to resolve the problems of 16 lakh depositors caught in the fraud.

At the same time, he also ticked off the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), pointing out that the PMC bank fraud had occurred over the years and had not reflected in the audits of the RBI. “While all authority over this bank rests with the Reserve Bank of India, we will explore the possibility of the merger of this bank with another, to ensure depositors are not cheated. It is clear that this fraud went on for a long time and the RBI needs to check if they should change their existing system of auditing banks,” he said.

Fadnavis said the state government had sent a report and written to the finance minister as well as spoken to the Prime Minister to allow the state to use all powers within its purview to sell the confiscated assets

to return the money to depositors.

He said the government had already seized a number of assets of the bank directors, although there was a possibility of some money having being siphoned off abroad.