Eknath Khadse: Maharashtra ministers afraid of speaking up

Feb 08, 2018, 11:05 IST | PTI

In a veiled attack on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, sulking BJP leader Eknath Khadse today said ministers in the state are "afraid" of speaking up

Eknath Khadse
Eknath Khadse

In a veiled attack on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, sulking BJP leader Eknath Khadse today said ministers in the state are "afraid" of speaking up. Khadse, who resigned as Revenue Minister in 2016 owing to allegations of corruption and conflict of interest in a land deal, has been struggling for his political rehabilitation and had often taken potshots at Fadnavis.

At the same time, Khadse hailed the BJP and the Maharashtra government for successfully rolling out a number of "good" schemes. "Ministers and party cadres look up to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for directions and are afraid to speak for the fear of being caught on the wrong foot," he said in an informal chat with reporters here today. Khadse said despite announcing good schemes, including a mega loan waiver, the BJP and the state government are falling short of taking them to the people.

"So far the government has disbursed over Rs 20,000 crore directly to the bank accounts of farmers and the figure is bound to increase in the coming days," he said. Khadse said the Nanaji Deshmukh Krushi Sanjeevani Yojana is being implemented in the 15 suicide-prone districts of the state. "The scheme is designed to change the lives of the farmers. Under the scheme, farmers are being given farm implements like shed-nets, green houses, tractors and other implements on 100 per cent subsidy," the Muktainagar MLA said.

Those farmers who have small farm land holdings or who cannot afford them are offered these farm implements on a nominal rent, he said. "However, the government, the ministers, the party MLAs and party cadres are falling short in informing the farmers about the benefits of the scheme," the BJP veteran said. Citing the case of Madhya Pradesh, he said all villages in the neighbouring state are now connected by roads, enabling farmers to bring their produce to cities. Despite being a power surplus state, Maharashtra is unable to provide 14 hours of uninterrupted power supply to farmers and separating electricity feeders.

"In Madhya Pradesh, the government has done feeder separation whereby both farmers and villages get assured uninterrupted power supply," he said. However, despite the World Bank allocating Rs 65,000 crore for feeder separation in the country in the last ten years, Maharashtra could not fully implement the programme across the state, he said.

Khadse admitted that the party has become lethargic after coming to power and is unable to encash on the implementation of the schemes "that have really been a success on the ground".

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