Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Congress president Ashok Chavan canvassed in different districts for their candidates as campaign for the first phase of Municipal Council and Nagar Panchayat polls culminated today. Addressing rallies in different places in Vidarbha yesterday, Chief Minister Fadnavis exhorted people to support BJP and assured them of all round development of cities. "There is a BJP government at the Centre and in the state. Support us in the municipal councils as well. I take the responsibility for development of the cities," he said, assuring housing and education for all. He said the previous government could not implement the open defecation-free (ODF) programme in the country. "In the last two years, 100 cities have been declared ODF. We have also given the people right to services act," he said. Urging people to support demonetisation, the CM asked them to become Modi's "soldiers" in the struggle of economic independence. Meanwhile, Congress' Chavan took potshots at former ally NCP last night while addressing a rally in Pusad district of Vidarbha, considered a stronghold of the Sharad Pawar-led party. "Even though we wanted Congress to be the no. 1 party in the state, we ruled the state for 15 years with our ally (NCP) to prevent the rise of communal forces.
As chief minister from Congress, we did our best to ensure all round development of the state. Unfortunately, the development did not reach Pusad," he said while addressing the rally.
"If you want to see what is development, you should come to Nanded. It was possible because people supported late Shankarrao Chavan and his vision of development and the support continues till today for Congress," said Chavan, the former Maharashtra chief minister.
Hitting out at NCP chief Pawar, Chavan said, "Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi says he learnt a lot from Pawar. While Pawar says keep away communal forces and at the same time, in Yavatmal local bodies poll for legislative council, NCP elected representatives voted for Shiv Sena. What kind of politics is this?" Chavan also highlighted the hardships being faced by the poor and common man due to demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes earlier this month. "We demanded loan waiver for farmers which the government did not accept, while loans of the rich wilful defaulters are written off," he claimed. In the first phase tomorrow, 164 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats will go to polls. As many as 15,827 candidates are in fray for 3,706 seats, while for the direct election to municipal council president in 147 places, 1,013 candidates are in the race.