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Congress-NCP MLAs unhappy with Chavan

It was an embarrassing situation for the Democratic Front government in the State Assembly yesterday when its MLAs accused the government of indecisiveness and a sloppy approach towards developmental works.

The MLAs, who expressed their displeasure over the slow pace of decision-making by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan-led Housing department, were NCP's Jitendra Avhad and Congress' Ashok Jadhav. Later, another Congress MLA Virendra Jagtap joined the bandwagon and condemned the government for developmental backlog in irrigation projects.

Participating in a brief discussion over dilapidated and dangerous buildings in Thane, Avhad, who represents Mumbra-Kalwa constituency, said the state has not been doing anything on the issue even though 14 people had died in a building collapse at Mumbra in 2003.

The issue of redevelopment of dilapidated and dangerous buildings is pending at CM's level for over a year now. Similarly, a file on cluster development has been lying at his office for the past few months, said Avhad, adding that despite being a ruling party member, he had to take an anti-government stance.

If this is the situation, then people will label the government as anti-poor, stated Avhad.

Shiv Sena MLA, Eknath Shinde, who threatened an indefinite fast in the House if the government failed to offer any relief to Thane residents, was the first leader to raise the issue.

Jadhav, who represents Andheri (W), expressed strong displeasure over the non-implementation of recommendations of a committee headed by ex-chief secretary Dinesh Afzalpurkar on redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings in Mumbai suburbs.

He was supported by Shiv Sena group leader Subhash Desai, who said that though the government resolution (GR) was issued in 2006, rules to implement the same were yet to be issued.

Irked with Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare's reply on developmental backlog in irrigation sector, Jagtap sprung a surprise when he joined in sloganeering against the government with the Opposition MLAs.

He condemned the government for not being serious about the irrigation projects in the Vidarbha region.

No hike, please!
With the annual review of the government ready reckoner in its final stages, 11 Congress MLAs from the city opposed a hike in stamp duty rates. In a memorandum presented to Chavan at Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur, the MLAs urged the government to avoid the hike by keeping in mind the poor sales in realty sector.

In a recent meeting in Mumbai, MLAs passed a resolution against the hike, to offer a major relief to home buyers, states the memorandum that was signed by Baba Siddiqui, Amin Patel, Krishna Hegde, Kalidas Kolambkar, Rajhans Singh, Aslam Shaikh, Madhu Chavan, Rameshsingh Thakur and others.

The MLAs have also reminded the government that in 2008-09, when recession was at its peak, the state had avoided hiking the stamp duty.

If possible, the state should reduce the existing ready reckoner rates that will lead to a sharp drop in the stamp duty rates, states the memorandum.

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