power-cricis-1NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar has mocked at the Chief Ministers for inviting global industries to Maharashtra without having made provisions for adequate power supply. His remarks came on the backdrop of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s recent Europe tour. While CM Deshmukh has reacted to this stating that he accepts the power crisis in Maharashtra all the time, his detractors are not missing the opportunity to criticize the Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh government for failure to tackle massive power crisis in Maharashtra. The economic decline of Maharashtra began in 1995-96 and has worsened in the Vilasrao Deshmukh government. The state’s debt has now reached a staggering Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The economic growth rate of the state fell sharply from 7.5 per cent per annum between 1985-86 and 1994-95 to 4.5 per cent per annum between 1995-96 and 2003-04. The worst set back to the state has been the power sector. Due to power crisis, the state has not been able to maintain the growth rate of the economy. Bad planning and failure to attract new investments in the sector have landed the State in the present situation. A report prepared by experts from the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Jamnalal Institute of Management Studies and Tata Institute of Social Sciences has warned that the economy of the State would go out of control if the government fails to act now. All this has left the Congress-NCP democratic front sweating in the election year. With nothing much to boast off in front of voters next year, looks like the NCP and Congress has started blame game. And NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar has made the first move by mocking at Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Sharad Pawar has said, and I quote Initially, I had told Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to bat for the Nano project, but later realized about the power scarcity. What would I tell the Tatas? You will get electricity only for 12 hours?” he questioned. On the backdrop of Deshmukh’s recent Europe tour, Pawar remarked that there is no point in inviting foreign investors when the state cannot provide them the energy required. He said and I quote, “Until and unless you have adequate power supply, don’t go after the investors”. Indirectly hitting his own NCP Minister Dilip Walse Patil who is the State Energy Minister, Sharad Pawar said that the Maharashtra State has done nothing in the past 8 years for power generation exposing the failure of the Vilasrao Deshmukh government. And when Congress-NCP led Democratic Front government leader Sharad Pawar did not hesitate to attack his own democratic front and mock at CM Vilasrao Deshmukh for power crisis, how could Deshmukh detractors miss their chance to attack the CM. Congress dissident and revenue minister Narayan Rane immediately revived his campaign against Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh accusing him of failure on the energy front. Taking a cue from NCP President and Union Minister Sharad Pawar Narayan, Balasaheb Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray too attacked the democratic front for power crisis. On other hand, Congress leaders are in an embarrassing fix. Clearly not knowing how to react, the leader tries to cover up Maharashtra’s failure to tackle power crisis with the N-Deal. The disappointment and embarrassment of being mocked at from there own leader Sharad Pawar can easily be seen on the face of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. It’s a shame for Maharashtra State that its own Chief Minister says that he informs investors he meets abroad about the power crisis in the state. Millions of residents and industries both in rural and urban Maharashtra are facing power cuts ranging from four hours to 18 hours daily. As against a demand, there is a shortage of about 5,000 MW. And it is the failure of the Vilasrao Deshmukh government that Maharashtra, once a power-surplus state, has seen a sharp deterioration on the power front in recent years. And even though the situation has gone from bad to worse, Sharad Pawar chose to voice concern only during the election year – not just making the power crisis a political blame game but ensuring that the Congress was blamed for failure to address power crisis in Maharashtra. Rampant political populism, poor financial management, lack of administrative reforms and declining standards of governance have brought about the economic decline of the once prosperous and well-managed State of Maharashtra. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News

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