Congress up in arms over partiality in fund allocation

Congress is once again left disappointed with partiality in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. 11 party legislators have voiced their concern against the partiality in the allocation of funds for various development works in their respective constituencies. These legislators from across Maharashtra, under the leadership of Kailash Gorantyal from Jalna constituency, have come together and taken up the matter now directly with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking urgent relief.

Gorantyal declined to give the name of the other 10 legislators, as they did not want to be exposed at the present juncture. However, Gorantyal, who was elected after defeating Shiv Sena leader and former minister of state Arjun Khotkar, said the other 10 legislators too had defeated Shiv Sena nominees in the assembly election held last year. They have a common complaint that the Minister of Urban Development Department and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, despite repeated pleas, was not listening to their requests for funds, but entertaining their local opponents from Shiv Sena.

Even though these 11 legislators are part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, at the local level, the political rivalry still exists. Gorantyal told the Free Press Journal, “Despite meeting Shinde five times, he is bypassing me and the other 10 Congress legislators while releasing funds from the Urban Development Department to municipalities. It is so humiliating that Shinde entertains the defeated Shiv Sena nominees, party’s councilors and other office bearers. This is quite absurd, as the Congress party is ruling such civic bodies. In the natural course, the funds should be routed through the local legislators after the submission of proposals. This is partiality. Therefore, we have made a direct representation to Thackeray, seeking his intervention so that the municipalities controlled by them can receive funds after their request.’’ He informed that, in Parbhani, even though the Congress is holding the civic body chief’s post, her request is not entertained. However, the Shiv Sena legislator gets it from the urban development department.

Gorantyal revealed that, in the last eight months, the Congress-ruled Jalna municipality has not received funds sought by him from the Urban Development Department. Moreover, the allocation of funds, which was due for four other Congress-ruled civic bodies, has been cancelled.

“We have already met the Congress general secretary in charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge, Revenue Minister and Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan and raised our grievances. We have also told them they should not be held responsible if the Congress party loses municipalities in the next elections,’’ said Gorantyal. He further stated that they will again raise their issue with Shinde and also seek the help of Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other senior ministers.

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