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Congress-NCP prepare for Maharashtra assembly polls

Posted on May 15 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, May 15 : The ruling Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra feels the Lok Sabha election results may affect the assembly election due in October, and is planning to make more efforts to better its performance in the state polls.

"The outcome of the Lok Sabha polls could have an impact on the forthcoming election in the state, especially in view of the negative propaganda by the opposition parties. From the budget session next month (June), we plan to counter that effectively and well in advance this time," a senior state Congress leader said, requesting anonymity.

Performance, coupled with a positive perception of the state government would be the guiding factor and accordingly, many major pending decisions are likely to be taken over the next few weeks, he said.

Some of these would be crucial like a new toll regime to replace the existing one that has been widely criticised and opposed in recent months by all parties and the public, as well as an alternative to the Local Body Tax that has been rejected by the state's powerful trading community.

The state government will also take a call on regularisation of illegal constructions in Pune's Pimpri-Chinchwad area, give a fillip to the long delayed Dharavi redevelopment project and cluster development in Thane and its satellite townships.

Though the past six months saw several infrastructure projects being implemented and becoming operational, the state government is not willing to take chances.

It is likely to announce some other big infra projects for Mumbai and other urban centres like Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad.

In Mumbai, a major push is expected for the Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor which will be a boon to decongest the sub-human conditions in suburban train travel.

The state government is expected to make major announcements during the monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature that will commence June 2, barely a fortnight after the results of the Lok Sabha election.

The full budget for 2014-15 will also be tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar - who holds the finance portfolio - as only a vote-on-account was approved in March in view of the restrictions imposed by the model code of conduct.

The forthcoming budget session will be the last opportunity for the state government to exploit some populist measures before the election is announced sometime in September.

Other aspects that the government may address are reservation for the Maratha community, a boost to the housing sector in Mumbai, proper disbursal of relief to farmers who suffered losses during the hailstorms in February-March, and tackling an impending drought in 2015 as the Met department has forecast a below average monsoon this year.

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