MUMBAI: Congress leader Milind Deora has written to party chief Sonia Gandhi expressing concern over Rahul Gandhi's 2019 poll promise of allotting 500 sq ft homes to slum-dwellers in Mumbai being not implemented "effectively" by the new coalition government in Maharashtra.
Deora urged Sonia Gandhi to establish a mechanism in Maharashtra, which is ruled by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, to ensure that the state government delivers on the poll promises made by the Congress to the people.
In his letter, dated January 24, Deora stated that "upon his advice" in March 2019, then Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said at a rally that 500 sq ft homes under slum and dilapidated building rehabilitation schemes will be allotted if his party is voted to power in Maharashtra.
"This promise was later included in the common minimum programme (CMP) worked out by the three parties," Deora said.
At present, 269 sq ft houses are provided under the slum redevelopment projects in the city.
To drive home his point, Deora recalled former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi supporting efforts initiated by his late father Murli Deora to give affordable housing to the needy in Mumbai since 1984.
"Voters of Mumbai have since trusted the Congress and rewarded it for its commitment towards uplifting those at the bottom of the pyramid," he stated.
"Rahul ji's promise was made to Mumbaikars when he was Congress president. It concerns me that such an important policy initiative has still not moved effectively towards implementation," Deora stated.
The former Mumbai Congress president said that various other "realistic and feasible" promises too were made by the Congress to people during the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Maharashtra in 2019.
"I therefore request you to consider establishing an effective mechanism in Maharashtra, similar to the one in (other) Congress-governed states, so that the state government may speedily deliver on the poll promises made by Congress to the voters of Maharashtra," Deora said.
On the other hand, the Congress' allies Shiv Sena and NCP have worked during the past 50 days to implement their programmes and poll promises, he stated.
"Maharashtra's voters have appreciated this effort and are beginning to welcome several decisions," Deora observed.