Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, in the state legislative assembly on Monday, sparred over the allocation of funds to the underdeveloped Vidarbha and Marathwada regions and also on the formation of statutory development boards for these two regions.
Pawar announced that the statutory development boards for Vidarbha and Marathwada will be formed immediately after Governor BS Koshyari approves the nomination of 12 names from his quota to the legislative council. The government had forwarded these names last year. However, the governor, despite reminders, is yet to clear them.
Fadnavis flayed the Maha Vikas Aghadi for holding Vidarbha and Marathwada as ransom for the nomination of 12 names to the state legislative council. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also boycotted the proceedings in the assembly over the issue. Mooting the issue for discussion in the assembly, BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar alleged that the government had not formed the board despite Pawar’s assurance on December 15 last year.
In reply, Pawar said the MVA government was of the view that the boards must be set up. It will make provisions in the March 8 budget assuming that the boards exist. ''We wanted to form it as soon as possible. However, the state cabinet had taken a decision of recommending 12 names to the governor for their nomination as members of the legislative council from his quota. The Vidarbha and Marathwada Statutory Boards will be declared the day the 12 names are declared or the next day,” he added.
Fadnavis asked what the people of Vidarbha and Marathwada have to do with the nomination of 12 names to the state council, which is an issue between the state government and the governor. He said that people of the two regions will not ‘forgive’ Pawar's stand on the issue and added that his party would continue to fight till ‘we get what the Constitution has given us’. Pawar said no one should play politics in this matter and reiterated that the boards would be formed.