Nagpur: On this day two years ago when Nagpur South-West MLA Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as C.M. of the state of Maharashtra, a wave of happiness swept Vidarbha and Nagpur. Riding on this wave were Hope and Optimism – achche din would definitely come for our neglected region, we all thought.
As leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha his fiery speeches on problems of Vidarbha still reverberated in our ears. He grasped the issues exactly we felt and would make sincere efforts to resolve them.
So two years down the line, how do we rate his performance from our perspective ? Not Mumbai mainline newspapers and TV channels but our very ‘Nagpuri’ and Vidarbhiya point of view. We would have loved to have his take on it, but unfortunately requests for interviews have been falling on deaf ears, so we will have to go with our own assessment, done absolutely honestly, and we hope, fairly.
First he gets A in:
Coming across as someone who cares for Nagpur and is ready to walk the extra mile for it, and Vidarbha. When he goes abroad wooing Foreign investors or looking for joint ventures, he does seem to push the case of MIHAN and Nagpur or Amraoti…
Working hard and dividing his time judiciously between Mumbai and Nagpur – we love it and appreciate it that he spends almost every weekend in Nagpur ( even if he doesn’t spare us even 30 minutes!).
Getting MIHAN on track again. That was one mega project that had begun appearing ‘shelved for good’. It was going the way of the grand ” 7 star Butibori industrial estate” that was announced with much fanfare but ultimately made not much difference to the city. He set deadlines for stalled proposals and land allotees showing he meant business.
Getting various prestigious Universities and Institutes to come to Nagpur, like IIM, AIIMS, the National Law University and others.
Nagpur metro work progressing super fast.
His pet Jalayukta Vihar schemes that have enthusiastic participation from local populace and generous backing of NGOs and public personalities like film star Amir Khan and Nana Patekar. Two monsoons have shown that this micro water conservation and rejuvenation plan is working in a big way.
He gets B/ C+ in:
The much delayed privatization of the ‘International airport’ of Nagpur seems to be moving forward at last. Though nowhere close to a resolution yet.
Attempting brave revival of the dying (dead?) Cotton mills business in Amraoti. When such mills thrived here decades ago the entire Cotton and Textiles scenario was entirely different – those circumstances cannot be duplicated.
Getting Indian and foreign MNCs interested in starting orange juice plants in the Nagpur and Amraoti District areas.
Sorry C.M. – but we give you an F ( fail) in:
Not being unambiguous as before in your support of the legitimate demand for creation of separate Vidarbha state. You were our best bet on it but you sometime give an impression that you have turned your back on this issue. Please state your position clearly without citing technical problems like Centre having to clear the proposal etc. We want to know where YOU stand.
Your ambiguity also means that many issues that you had taken up as Leader of Opposition such as exposing and stopping the Coal scam in Chandrapur are being overlooked completely now.
Rationalizing power tariffs for Vidarbha – As any suffering industrialist of Nagpur will tell you that the biggest impediment to getting a new industry started in any of our MIDCs is the very high rate of electricity specially when it is compared to our 4 neighboring states of M.P., Chattisgarh, Telengana and A.P. When we produce power abundantly over here and suffer environmental and ecological damage of Coal Mining, Thermal power plants etc. why do we still have same power tariff as Western Maharashtra where they have to take into reckoning the 20% transmission loss?
Controlling farmers’ suicides – You and the PM had both promised a big increase in the MSP of ‘cash’ crops like Cotton, soyabean etc. Instead the MSP has actually decreased and what’s more – farmers are not getting to sell their produce at crucial times like Diwali. You make announcements but somehow fail to get them executed in a timely manner. Your not taking a stand on waiving of farmers’ loans has seen an increase in the numbers of farmers committing suicide compared to last few years.
Fighting effectively problem of malnutrition and premature infant death among tribals of Melghat and other backward areas. Like with farmers, here too, the figures have actually gone up instead of going down. The situation is so bad that the High Court and the Apex Supreme court have had to pull up your government in not being serious about combating this evil.
Messing up the nutrition situation AND creating practical and fiscal problems for many Dairy farmers by suddenly imposing a complete ban on beef. You failed to understand that beef was a source of cheap protein for the poor, including but not restricted to minorities. Secondly, farmers who are into Dairy farming on a large scale have to bear the burden of looking after old and ailing cows and bulls, ( male progeny) which are of no use in agriculture either. That the ‘cow vigilantes’ are creating law and order problems and disrupting communal harmony is another contentious offshoot of this edict.
To sum it up Mr. C.M. we are sure your heart is in the right place but you do seem weak in effective implementation. Or could it be a lacuna in grasping the core issues and not just improving on old systems but scrapping completely the faulty ones and getting new in place?
—Sunita Mudaliar (Associate Editor)