Kolhapur (Maharashtra): BJP president Amit Shah Thursday gave a clarion call to "uproot the scam-ridden Congress-NCP" government in Maharashtra to ensure the state's return to pride and progress.
Launching the party's campaign for the Oct 15 assembly elections, Shah said that the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have "destroyed" the state during their rule over the past 15 years.
BJP President Amit Shah
"(NCP president) Sharad Pawar commercialised politics like no other leader in the country... Ajit Pawar was involved in scams... There were scams after scams in the state worth a total of Rs.11,88,000 crore," Shah alleged.
He said that the money lost in scams - Rs.11,88,000 crore - would have been enough to run the state economy for at least five years.
Shah thundered that after the scams were exposed, name-sake inquiries were conducted -- "Ajit Pawar quit and came back within a couple of months following a 'probe'. If proper and genuine investigations are conducted into all these scams, no Congress-NCP leader will remain out of jail."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief lamented that in the past 15 years of the Congress-NCP regime, they emptied the state's coffers to such an extent that even if the BJP comes to power, it would be very difficult to run the government.
Lauding Maharashtra for being the country's "growth engine" without which development and progress of the country is not possible, Shah urged his party workers to "strongly unite and throw away this government".
"Do you want this scam-ridden government to continue? Do you want Sharad Pawar's 'business-politics'? If you want a government of principles, cooperation, development, which can stop farmer suicides or commercialisation of education -- then it's imperative to remove this government... Without a change in Maharashtra, change in the country is difficult," Shah declared.
Referring to the logjam in the seat-sharing talks between BJP and the Shiv Sena, Shah adopted a non-committal, diplomatic stance, urging state leaders of both parties to reach an understanding soon.
"I appeal to both parties to solve the issue... We have taken two steps ahead, now they (Shiv Sena) should also come forward... We shall do it (seat-share understanding) with dignity and respect... It is necessary for change," Shah appealed.
Shah assured that the BJP would bring back "the pride of Maharashtra" and said that the BJP's campaign for "Congress-mukt (free)" India cannot be achieved without a "Congress-free" Maharashtra.
The BJP leader, who called Kolhapur his "sasural" since his wife Sonal hails from this erstwhile bastion of the Maratha empire in western Maharashtra, started his campaign with prayers at the famous Mahalakshmi Temple here.
Shah arrived Mumbai yesterday on a three-day visit to the poll-bound state and reached Kolhapur Wednesday where the NCP had launched its campaign two days ago.