Raj Thackeray renews attack on Maharashtra government

Mumbai, March 24 (IANS) After nearly a fortnight, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Sunday renewed his attack on the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance.

Addressing a massive rally in Amravati – 690 km from Mumbai – Sunday evening, Thackeray accused government officials of being corrupt, especially those in the irrigation department, controlled by the NCP.
“Five of the key ministries are handled by the NCP: finance, power, irrigation, water and home. What have they done so far,” Thackeray said as he completed the third leg of his state-wide tour in Vidarbha.
He quoted official statistics to reveal how irrigation projects were languishing for decades and though there were astronomical escalation costs, the projects remained incomplete even as large parts of the state grappled with the worst ever drought in four decades this year.
Thackeray claimed that within just four months between the 2009 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections, irrigation projects worth several thousands of crore rupees were approved in the state, but nothing has moved after that.
“Ajit Pawar, will you explain where the Rs.70,000 crore has gone,” Thackeray demanded from the NCP’s deputy chief minister.
“There are no elections now, yet I appeal to you all to support the MNS. Together we can bring about a change in the state,” Thackeray said.
Touching on the recent assault on a policeman inside the legislature premises in Mumbai, Thackeray reiterated that raising hands on a law-enforcer “cannot be forgiven”.
“I had said that on the very first day. But, now I am shocked at the kind of politics being played on that issue,” he said.
He said he wanted to set up up ‘goshalas’ (cow protection centres) in each district in the state to ensure that the sick and aged cattle were cared for properly and not doomed to a tragic end.