Free Press Journal

Toll-free Maharashtra a concept, not poll promise: Fadnavis



Mumbai: A “toll-free Maharashtra” was only a concept and not an election promise of the BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minsiter Devendra Fadnavis Saturday clarified.

Speaking to media persons on the completion of 100 days of his government, the chief minister said the government’s opinion was that high amounts of toll should be scrapped.

“However, (toll) agreements are one-sided and there are no buy-back clauses. We are now probing these agreements. But we are on the way to making a toll-free Maharashtra with a few toll posts to be scrapped soon,” Fadnavis asserted.

He lashed at the opposition for terming the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government a ‘U-turn regime’ over the issue of the party going back on its purported poll promise of making the state toll-free.

Fadnavis hit out at the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party regime for the ongoing spate of farmers’ suicides, particularly in his home region of Vidarbha.

“We inherited the reins of a state which was in a bad condition due to misgovernance, lack of policy making and paralysis in implementing decisions in the past 15 years.

“There was no investment in the agriculture sector and irrigation projects were left incomplete due to corruption. We have already distributed Rs.2,000 crore as aid and a further Rs.2,500 crore is being disbursed,” he said.

Fadnavis said he would like to assure the people that in the past 100 days, his government “has speeded up decision-making, created a positive atmosphere all round, with decentralisation, transparency and accountability.

“The challenges are huge, but we are tackling them,” he said.

To a question, the chief minister denied that there were differences between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, as speculated in some sections of the media.

In the presence of over a dozen of his cabinet colleagues, Fadnavis released a booklet listing his government’s achievements in the past 100 days.