Mumbai : When Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will complete three years on Monday, he has a mixed bag of achievements and failures. He succeeded in cornering the Nationalist Congress Party and maligning its image, in the process improving his own party’s image following Adarsh Society scam. While he did a fairly good work on development front, he failed to establish a direct connection with the common man and party workers. Even today, he is being perceived as a bureaucrat and not as a politician.
When Chavan took the reins of the State government on November 11, 2010, it was total chaos in Congress party as Adarsh Housing scam has exposed all its top leaders’ hand in corruption. Ashok Chavan was forced to leave the chief ministership on this issue. Chavan was sent to Mumbai with the difficult task of improving the image of the party in the State. On that front, he however has succeeded more than the normal expectations. Simultaneously, he shrewdly damaged the image of the NCP, the alliance partner that has always kept the Congress on tenterhooks.
When he took oath as the Chief Minister, many in Congress and NCP had claimed that his Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and NCP would easily dictate terms as Chavan was not much aware of the grassroots level politics in the State. But Chavan proved them stupendously wrong. His long and fruitful experience in New Delhi at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) helped him check-mate NCP. The dissolution of the Board of Directors of the State Cooperative Bank was a master stroke. This was a major blow to NCP as it was using the bank to control the politics in rural parts of the State. The announcement of white paper on irrigation scam too proved debilitating for NCP so much so that Ajit Pawar had to resign from the State Cabinet and wait for a clean-chit through another white paper.
Not that ‘clean’: Though he was projected as Mr Clean, time and again it has been proved that this was not fully correct. When it was exposed that he had got a flat from the CM’s quota by showing false low income, Chavan announced that he would surrender the same. But till now, there has been no progress on this front. Though he has luxurious suit in Maharashtra Sadan for meeting people and holding meetings of officials, he has not yet vacated the 8-Type bungalow near the Prime Minister’s residence which can be allotted to only ministers. His children are staying there at the cost of public exchequer.
Though he cornered NCP, he failed to expedite the administration in the State. He neither could show courage to pinpoint corruption in the white paper nor institute an inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act in connection with the irrigation scam. He also failed to table the Adarsh Commission report in the legislature even though the mandatory six-month time limit has passed.
Moreover. he failed to get the Anti-Black Magic Act passed despite promises and used his authority to promulgate an ordinance only after the assassination of Dr Narendra Dabholkar. He could not remove the inefficient and the corrupt Congress ministers from the Cabinet. He also failed to ensure justice to backward areas like Vidarbha and Marathwada. The package announced by him for the flood-affected people of Vidarbha, has not yet reached the region.
• The State Government has taken a decision to allot 6,948 tenements, constructed on the lands of MHADA at a price of 7.50 lakh per unit. The lottery for 6,925 tenements has been drawn on June 28, 2010 and actual allotment is being done.
• The State Government has also taken a decision to allot tenements free of cost to the legal heirs of 22 martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement.
COMPLETED Mumbai Projects
• 17 flyovers thrown open for traffic in Mumbai and its region (Rs 833 crore)
• 36 skywalks thrown open for commuters in Mumbai and its region (Rs 752 crore)
• 12 Roads, Western Express Highway and Eastern Express Highway developed in Mumbai (Rs 1,213 crore)
• More than 25,000 toilet seats constructed in MMR (Rs 280 crore)