Mumbai: In an embarrassment for the Narendra Modi government, Maharashtra's ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition on Wednesday termed the heavy penalties under the new Motor Vehicles Act as "exorbitant" and stayed its implementation.
Announcing the decision, state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to "reconsider and reduce" the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA.
Effectively, the people of Maharashtra have been spared of the new MVA and resultant stiff penalties till at least after the assembly elections, said an official of the state RTO.
The development came hours after a report by IANS earlier on Wednesday where Kishore Tiwari, Chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM), who enjoys a Cabinet Minister rank, warned that the new stiff fines had the potential to spur suicide rates across the country.
Virtually dismissing the contentions, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari stuck to his stand, and reiterated that the fines are intended to "save lives" and were being revised after 30 years.