congress-in-modeIrrespective of what May 16 – the counting day – has in store, the Congress in Maharashtra has begun preparations for the Assembly polls due later this year. Topping the agenda is a host of populist moves that can be implemented in the next 2-3 months before the state goes to polls. The Congress-led government, in particular Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, is coordinating the party efforts to finalise the plan. CM Ashok Chavan wants them to identify schemes and programs which can be implemented without any procedural or bureaucratic hurdles. Some broad areas have already been prioritized. They include health, education, agriculture, minority welfare, urban infrastructure, housing, public distribution system, and social welfare. The agenda would focus on schemes to have maximum impact on large sections of the society. A scheme like wheat at Rs 2 kg and rice at Rs 3 kg for families living below poverty line could very much be a part of this programme. Sources pointed out that the government was working to a tight deadline. If Assembly elections are held as per schedule, the election code of conduct should be in force in September, officials reckon. This leaves the government with only two-and-a-half to three months to implement this programme. The programme will have something for cities which have not so far received benefits of schemes like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission or Bharat Nirman. This may mean housing for the urban poor and some direct schemes for the slum-dwellers. Bureau report – NMTV News.

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