The ruling Democratic Front constituent Nationalist Congress Party Thursday attacked the senior alliance partner Congress over the high prices of flats to be allotted by the government later this month.
In a statement, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) appeared to be in a race with private builders by charging exorbitant prices for its tenements, forgetting its primary objective of providing affordable housing to the masses.
He urged the government to direct the MHADA to lower the prices of the flats it planned to allot.
Malik's statement willy-nilly points an accusing finger at Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who handles the urban development department.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Minister of State for Housing Sachin Aher, both from the NCP, had earlier urged Chavan to make the proposed housing allotment for 1,259 flats and tenements affordable to the people in the lottery slated for May 31.
This year, for the first time in its history, the MHADA will be selling some Middle Income Group and Higher Income Group flats in excess of Rs.40 lakh, while the lowest priced flats for economically weaker sections and low income groups start at Rs.6.50 lakh.
A 476 sq. feet flat at Tungwa, in the upmarket Powai, will be available at a whopping Rs.75.20 lakh with a maximum number of 492 flats available for sale, making this the most expensive component of the scheme.
Sixty-two of the largest flats - each measuring 741 sq. feet - will be available at Gorai, Borivli West, for Rs.66.10 lakh per flat.
Targetting Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Malik reiterated that the NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar would not contest the next Lok Sabha election.
He also ridiculed Thackeray's comments that Pawar nursed prime ministerial ambitions and his nephew Ajit Pawar wanted to become Maharashtra chief minister, saying: "The NCP knows its strength - and its leaders would not join the prime minister's race with just 22 Lok Sabha MPs."
"(Sharad) Pawar has not told NCP workers 'to take care' of his daughter or nephew, like the late Shiv Sena chief (Bal Thackeray), who urged his partymen to look after his son (Uddhav) and grandson (Aditya)," Malik said.