Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre, campaign committee chairman Narayan Rane, co-ordination committee chairman Ashok Chavan and other Congress leaders lighting the ‘mahajyot’ at Hutatma Chowk before start of the Congress election campaign in state in Mumbai on Monday.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre, campaign committee chairman Narayan Rane, co-ordination committee chairman Ashok Chavan and other Congress leaders lighting the ‘mahajyot’ at Hutatma Chowk before start of the Congress election campaign in state in Mumbai on Monday.

Congress leaders put up united face at the launch of party’s Assembly poll campaign

Mumbai : Blaming the Centre for the impending power crisis, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene a meeting of all Chief Ministers to discuss the worsening power situation across India.

“The Centre must fulfill its responsibility,” Chavan said addressing Congress workers at the Azad Maidan here at the launch of campaign of the party in the run up to the elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

Chavan assured that he would do whatever is needed for people of Maharashtra to safeguard from the power crisis, but made it clear that the Centre cannot run away from its responsibility. “The Prime Minister must call a meeting of all Chief Ministers and discuss this issue… this is a serious issue,” Chavan said.

Because of good rains, the power situation as of now is good, but in the days ahead, there could be a major shortfall – leading to load-shedding.

“If the Centre does not take any steps, there will be severe power crisis in the country. Though the Centre is attempting to put Maharashtra government in trouble by not allocating electricity from the central grid, we will not allow our people to be affected,” he said.

Chavan further said that the centre-state relations, which were protected by Congress, are in danger during the regime of BJP-led NDA government. “The centre-state relations which were protected by Congress are in danger. At official functions, Chief Minister is humiliated by not being allowed to speak in the Prime Minister’s presence. People of Maharashtra will not tolerate this insult to the Chief Minister,” Chavan said.

Chavan said that the performance of the Narendra Modi government, during its first 100 days, has not been satisfactory. “The performance has not been to people’s expectations, except for inaugurating projects, started and completed by the previous Congress-led UPA government, it has done nothing. Prices have not been controlled. On the border front, there have been several instances of ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side across the border, but those at the helm of affairs are quiet,” Chavan said.

The Chief Minister also said that he was “shocked” by an SMS received by state health minister Suresh Shetty saying that Modi government was planning to introduce ‘blood on call’ scheme.

“The scheme was launched by the state government and it is benefiting the common man. We have no problem with the scheme being extended throughout the country because it is Maharashtra’s tradition that initiatives started in the state are extended nationwide. But the credit should go to Maharashtra and not the Modi government,” he said.

Claiming that people fell prey to the advertising blitzkrieg of BJP during the Lok Sabha elections, Chavan said voters were now realising the mistake.

Former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is the manifesto committee chairman of Maharashtra Congress, said the Centre had reduced petrol prices but hiked the diesel prices. “This government does not work for the poor,” he said.

Shinde too blamed the Centre for power shortage in Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. “The present government is not co-ordinating. It only knows how to harass the states ruled by opposition,” he alleged.

Campaign committee chairman Narayan Rane and co-ordination committee head Ashok Chavan accused the BJP of having a secret agenda to split Maharashtra and create a separate state of Vidarbha.

Earlier, all the leaders lit ‘mahajyot’ at the Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs’ Memorial) here to pay homage to the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, amid heavy rain. This was said to symbolise that the party is not in favour of carving out the separate Vidarbha state.

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