‘Congress-NCP alliance has ruined Maharashtra’

Rahul Wadke NS Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2014 Published on June 10, 2014

VINOD TAWDE, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council

BJP leader Vinod Tawde on how the party hopes to win the Assembly polls

The spectacular success in the Lok Sabha elections has pumped up the adrenalin in the Maharashtra unit of the BJP. Senior partyman and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde believes that victory in the forthcoming Assembly elections is a foregone conclusion.

Tawde shared his views with Business Line on the party’s campaign and strategy to maintain coalition partners.

What is the BJP’s basic election strategy for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra?

The ruling Congress-NCP alliance in the last 15 years has practically destroyed Maharashtra. The alliance has not ruled the State but has ruined it. Therefore, to salvage the State, the BJP is working on a 12-point plan that is focused on sectors such as health, irrigation and energy.

Once the plan is formulated, it will be communicated to the people of Maharashtra. We will seek people’s vote based on this plan. The Lok Sabha elections have shown that the people of India have risen above caste, religion and emotional issues and voted for the BJP. The voters in Maharashtra are looking for a party and a leader who can deliver development. Our plan will focus on development.

How will you manage your coalition partners?

The BJP could give up some of its seats to Shiv Sena and other Mahayuti partners. Mahayuti is a pre-Lok Sabha poll coalition comprising the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, the Rashtriya Samaj Party and the Republican Party of India (Athavale faction).

The BJP will uphold coalition dharma. If other Mahayuti partners have a better candidate than the BJP, that candidate will be given the ticket. The party’s seat-sharing formula is flexible. The ability of a candidate to win a particular seat is the sole criterion for awarding tickets.

The BJP’s alliance with the Shiv Sena is almost two decades old. Both parties have a common vision for developing the State. Therefore, there will be no problem in sharing power with them.

A number of allegations of corruption have been made against the Congress and NCP combine by the BJP, but merely exposing the opponent does not win votes. What will be your message to the people during elections?

When Maharashtra farmers were in real trouble, the Congress-NCP government never came to their rescue. In the last 15 years, the number of farmers’ suicide in the State has reached 10,000.

Employment generation has taken a back seat and the opportunity to create 1 crore jobs has been lost. Dalits don’t feel safe in Maharashtra, atrocities on them are increasing. We will focus on these issues during the Assembly elections.

What will be the criterion for choosing a Mahayuti CM?

Whichever party gets the maximum number of seats will be allowed to nominate the CM. The other will be to make an MLA from the BJP the CM for two-and-a-half years and after that the Shiv Sena will be given a chance. One of the lessons the BJP-Shiv Sena learnt from the defeat of 1999 Assembly elections was that our alliance should have announced an arrangement for the Chief Minister’s position. It could have prevented infighting and the alliance could have gained another 10 seats.

You met the PM recently with an agenda for developing Maharashtra. Can you share some details?

I have submitted an eight-point plan to the PM seeking fast track implementation of various infrastructure and social welfare projects in Maharashtra.

The agenda is to revive Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, which was formed during the Vajpayee regime. If it is revived, 65 lakh commuters of the Mumbai region travelling by local trains will get some relief from various problems. Fast rail corridors between Churchgate-Virar and CST-Panvel will also get fresh impetus.

Just like new and glitzy airports, we also need smart railway stations. At least five suburban stations should be transformed providing safe travel and clean environment.

In the past, stalls on railway stations had been assigned to the relatives of Railway ministers and their chelas. The stalls should be reorganised and hygienic food should be provided.

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Published on June 10, 2014
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