Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Hemant Takale, visited the office of The Free Press Journal and Navshakti on Monday and speaking to the editorial team, decried the lack of governance in Maharashtra and explained how the economic condition of the state had deteriorated in the last five years.
How do you assess the performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the last five years?
There is absolutely no governance in the state. Over the last five years, the economy of the state has fallen significantly. The chief secretary of the chief minister is frequently being changed, companies are being shut down, foreign investors are fighting shy of investing, farmer suicides are on the rise and most importantly, there is an environment of fear and oppression being created. Whoever questions the acts of the government is dubbed anti-national. This is a serious threat to healthy governance and democracy.
With Congress and NCP heavyweights switching to the BJP, it seems as though the fight has gone out of the opposition. Aren’t the upcoming elections going to be completely one-sided?
We are campaigning aggressively. With our campaign rallies – the Shivswarajya Yatra, Halla Bol and Jail Bharo Andolan, not only were we able to reach out to the people of Maharashtra but also gained their confidence.
People have completely lost faith in the present government and they are about to vote them out in the assembly elections. Farmers and youth are infuriated with the BJP-Sena rule.
So you are confident of coming back to power? What do you think will be the margin of your victory?
Yes, we are confident we'll be back. You can see that in the speeches of BJP also. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are constantly bringing up Article 370 in their speeches.
How is Article 370 relevant to the election in Maharahstra? Isn't it evident they are doing this only to divert attention from the real issues ailing Maharashtra right now -- the issues of unemployment, poverty and inflation, to name just a few.
The government is turning a blind eye to this and people can see that, they are not fools. The govt has been only successful in dividing people on the grounds of nationalism.
The Sena-BJP alliance has already taken a call on who will be their next CM. Who is the CM face of your alliance?
We will decide that after the poll results. Such decisions cannot be taken overnight. Several factors must be taken into account. Our alliance believes in democracy, so we will take a call when everyone is on the same page.