Tehelka - - 20 -

You must have a tough job at hand with Ma­ha­rash­tra deeply en­trenched in flawed pol­icy de­ci­sions and ram­pant cor­rup­tion? Yes, it has been a huge task for me. Ma­ha­rash­tra largely de­pends on agri­cul­ture, and that has been a ma­jor con­cern for me. The re­sources were there, but the farm­ers were not reap­ing the ben­e­fits. So much money was pumped into ir­ri­ga­tion projects, but the farm­ers still had to face losses. Same was the case in the con­struc­tion sec­tor and the is­sue of the FSI (floor space in­dex). I had to clear ma­jor hur­dles, break many a nexus. There is noth­ing po­lit­i­cal about all this. Rather, it is about bring­ing a state like Ma­ha­rash­tra — one of the most sig­nif­i­cant states in the coun­try — back on its feet. But most of it has taken on a po­lit­i­cal hue? Yes, I am aware of this and it is very dis­ap­point­ing. I am not against any po­lit­i­cal party. That these scams are com­ing out in the open is the work of RTI ac­tivists, not my work per se or that of the Congress. But I am glad that at least the mess is out in the open, the rot has been ex­posed. At least, the peo­ple are seek­ing ac­count­abil­ity from politi­cians. When I asked for a white pa­per on ir­ri­ga­tion, there was no hid­den agenda of tak­ing on the NCP, as has been widely spec­u­lated. It is only with a white pa­per that we can come out with so­lu­tions to our ir­ri­ga­tion prob­lems. So, you be­lieve you are on the right track in Ma­ha­rash­tra? Are you on track with the vi­sion you brought with you? Ab­so­lutely, and I have no im­me­di­ate agenda of mov­ing out of Ma­ha­rash­tra, though that too has been widely spec­u­lated. I have done good work in Ma­ha­rash­tra, more or less along the lines of the agenda with which I came here. It is not about claims of mak­ing Mum­bai the next Shang­hai. Rather, it is about giv­ing Mum­bai what it de­serves. It has the in­fra­struc­ture it needs, but caught in the shack­les of cor­rup­tion. I am just try­ing to free it.

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