Widespread agitations will be held if the Uddhav Thackeray government tries to halt or slow down projects started by the earlier BJP-led dispensation to tackle drought in Maharashtra's Marathwada region, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.
He was speaking to reporters in Aurangabad during a one-day token hunger strike by party colleague and former minister Pankaja Munde against what the BJP has claimed is the neglect of the drought-prone region.
"Our government sought permission to construct new projects in Marathwada. We had sanctioned a water grid for the region and had even made of a draft of the plan. These projects should not be halted or slowed down (by the MVA government)," Devendra Fadnavis said.
"If this (water grid) project is brought to a halt, then widespread agitations under the leadership of Pankaja Munde will be held," he warned. Pankaja Munde said the Devendra Fadnavis government had sanctioned works worth Rs 32,000 crore and people expected the state government to complete them in time without bias.
"I will meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss issues related to Marathwada. I hope the government will not do anything that will force us to increase the intensity of this agitation," the former Parli MLA said.
Phulambri MLA and former Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade, who was also part of the one-day protest, raised doubts on whether the Shiv-Sena-NCP-Congress government would complete the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor in time.
Marathwada, with eight districts, has traditionally been a low-rainfall area and the grid project aims to create an integrated piped network to supply water for drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes all through the year.