Mumbai: The opposition came down heavily on the Maharashtra state government on Friday over the proposed meeting of the state cabinet at the Marathwada divisional center on Saturday. While the Congress criticised the lavish arrangements for the ministers in star hotels, the Shiv Sena (UBT) sought to know the progress on decisions made in the previous meeting held in Aurangabad in 2016.
"The decisions made for Marathwada by the Fadnavis government during a similar meeting in Aurangabad in 2016 are still pending without action," said Ambadas Danve, the leader of the opposition in the state legislative council and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader.
Danve lists pending projects, questions Dy CM Fadnavis
Terming Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the 'Super CM' in the current government, Danve also sought to know how long it would take for the government to complete schemes such as the "Balasaheb Thackeray memorial, Museum at Ter in Osmanabad, Mhaismal development plan, Development of the holy town of Mahur in Nanded district, sports complex at Latur, Dairy development board scheme to employ 1.25 lakh people, Transport hub at Koradi near Aurangabad, Textile park at Parbhani, Water grid scheme to mitigate droughts, Expansion of Aurangabad airport, Horticulture scheme, seed park at Jalna, etc."
"Most of these schemes were announced in 2016, with funds worth thousands of crores of rupees assured. However, hardly anything has materialised for Marathwada," Danve added.
On the other hand, the Congress has criticised the state government for the lavish arrangements for the meeting in a region where the danger of drought looms large.
Patole too slams 'expensive meet'
"Spending crores on cabinet meetings is like rubbing salt into the wounds of the drought-stricken people of Marathwada," said MPCC President Nana Patole, while leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, released the details of the lavish preparations and said, "Rulers would enjoy feasts while the poor farmer is dying of hunger."
"The EDA government in the state seems to have lost even the little shame they had. Farmers are suffering at the hands of nature and the government. In Marathwada, farmer suicides have increased tremendously, and people have taken to the streets for the Maratha agitation. Despite the grim situation in the state, especially in Marathwada, the chief minister, ministers, and officials are being accommodated in a lavish five-star hotel in Sambhajinagar using taxpayers' money. Spending millions on a cabinet meeting while everyday citizens struggle with rising costs is like adding insult to the injury of the already suffering people of Marathwada," Patole said, adding that the government is insensitive and thick-skinned.
There is a severe drought situation in Marathwada. Almost all the monsoon crops in every district have failed, and farmers have incurred massive losses. Yet, the government hasn't provided any assistance to these farmers. The announced onion subsidy by the government hasn't been distributed yet. The government claims it doesn't have funds to provide scholarships to OBC and backward-class students. Despite all this, the insensitive government is wasting public money by organizing programs to showcase its achievements. This government has splurged on advertising events, and now it will waste public money on cabinet meetings.
LoP Wadettwar released the entire list of lavish arrangements. "For the CM, DCMs, and all ministers, 30 rooms in a five-star hotel have been booked. For secretaries, 40 rooms in the Taj hotel have been booked, and for undersecretaries, PS, and desk officers, 70 rooms at Amarpreet hotel and 40 rooms at Ajanta Ambassador hotel have been booked. Security guards and drivers have 100 rooms each booked at the Revenue Academy and Patidar Bhavan, while rest houses like Walmi, irrigation, MahaTransco, and the State Government have been booked for other officers. A total of 150 cars each have been rented from Nashik and Aurangabad, and the food contract has been awarded to Namrata caterers, who will be paid Rs 1,500 per plate," he said, raising questions about the propriety of such lavish arrangements when the danger of drought is looming large.