Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today alleged that the Central government was denying power from the central grids deliberately, and blamed the BJP-led NDA government for the power crisis in the state.
Launching Congress's campaign for the assembly elections, Chavan said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to convene a meeting of all the Chief Ministers to discuss the power situation.
"If the Centre does not take any steps, there will be severe power crisis in the country. Though the Centre is attempting to put Maharashtra government in trouble by not allocating electricity from the central grid, we will not allow our people to be affected.
The state will do everything possible to ensure that people get electricity," Chavan said, addressing a Congress workers' meeting at Azad Maidan here. Chavan said the report card of first 100 days of the Modi government was "dismal". "Except inaugurating projects, started and completed by the UPA, it has done nothing, including not controlling prices and not adopting a hardline Pakistan policy.
There are several instances of ceasefire violations from across the border, but those at the helm of affairs are quiet," he said. He also alleged that the Centre-state relations which were protected by Congress are in danger. "Centre-state relations which were protected by Congress are in danger. At official functions, Chief Minister is humiliated by not being allowed to speak in the Prime Minister's presence. People of Maharashtra will not tolerate this insult to the Chief Minister," Chavan said.
Chavan had recently stayed away from Modi's function after he was heckled on an earlier occasion. The Chief Minister also said that he was "shocked" by an SMS received by state health minister Suresh Shetty saying that Modi government was planning to introduce 'blood on call' scheme.
"The scheme was launched by the state government and it is benefiting the common man. We have no problem with the scheme being extended throughout the country because it is Maharashtra's tradition that initiatives started in the state are extended nationwide. But the credit should go to Maharashtra and not the Modi government," he said.
Claiming that people fell prey to the advertising blitzkrieg of BJP during the Lok Sabha elections, Chavan said voters were now realising the mistake. Former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is the manifesto committee chairman of Maharashtra Congress, said the Centre had reduced petrol prices but hiked the diesel prices. "This government does not work for the poor," he said.
Shinde too blamed the Centre for power shortage in Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. "I was Power Minister for six years and would co-ordinate the supply from surplus states to the ones needing power, irrespective of which party was in power. The present government is not co-ordinating. It only knows how to harass the states ruled by opposition."
Campaign committee chairman Narayan Rane and co-ordination committee head Ashok Chavan accused the BJP of having a secret agenda to split Maharashtra and create a separate state of Vidarbha. Earlier, all the leaders lit "mahajyot" (flame) at the Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs' Memorial) here to pay homage to the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, amid heavy rain. Rane, who had resigned from the ministry some time ago, said there was unity in the state Congress.