MUMBAI: Chief Minister Devendra Fadmavis on Sunday appeared confident of government formation in the state though Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray remained non-committal.
While Fadnavis underlined the need for “early” government formation citing the “limited power of a caretaker government”, Thackeray told reporters that they should “soon know whether Sena will be in power”.
Both the leaders of major parties of the saffron alliance also showered assurance on farmers as they toured parts of Maharashtra suffering from crop damage due to unseasonal rains. While Fadnavis directed the officials to at times even tweak rules to ensure that all farmers who have lost crops get the compensation, Thackeray told the farmers that their land extracts would be cleared of any loads once his government is formed in the state.
Fadnavis expressed hope that the government will be formed very soon and asserted that the BJP will be part of any combination that comes to power in Maharashtra as he interacted with journalists at Akola in Western Vidarbha after visiting farms with damaged crops and conducting a meeting of government officials.
“The calamity was devastating. We need to treat this as ‘wet drought’. Hence, ensure that all kinds of assistance that we extended to people during drought should also be made available to everyone who has suffered due to rains,” Fadnavis told government officials at a meeting.
“You may even tweak a rule if you come across a genuine case where rules stop you from extending the relief,” he added.
“I hope the government is formed soon as there are restrictions on powers of a caretaker government,” he told reporters when asked about government formation.
Thackeray, who visited farms at Kannad in Aurangabad district of Marathwada region in central Maharashtra, told the farmers that he is touring the area “to express solidarity with them”.
He also said that the Rs 10,000 crore package announced by the Maharashtra government for crop damages suffered by farmers due to unseasonal rains was not enough and that the affected farmers should get Rs 25,000 per hectare as compensation.
“More assistance should follow. Farmers should get what is their right,” Thackeray said.
He also said that the administration needs to ensure that the assistance reaches the farmers seamlessly, without any hassles.
“People vote you when you ask. So, give then assistance without asking them for AADHAR or PAN cards,” Thackeray said and also assured the farmers that Maharashtra has done much for the centre and hence he shall try his level best to bring in as much as from the centre.
“I’m here to be with you, to support you. You are my family. I need you all,” he told the farmers.
At a press conference later, Thackeray also demanded that the Centre explain to people how the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will benefit the country.
“What are the terms and conditions we are agreeing before signing the agreement tomorrow and how it will benefit the country. I think the issue hasn’t been discussed in Parliament,” he said.
“You will come to know in the coming days if the Shiv Sena will be in power,” Thackeray said to a query by reporters. He refused to further answer any political questions.