Mumbai: Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Shiv Sena (UBT)-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party have said they have been ‘vindicated’ on their assertions over the remarkable performance of the 30-month regime of ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, as now revealed under a RTI reply.
Top leaders of the Sena (UBT), Congress and others have reacted to a report published by IANS (September 15) highlighting the RTI reply to Pune businessman Praffull Sarda that triggered a major political debate here on Saturday.
Taking off in full swing, Shiv Sena (UBT) President and ex-CM Thackeray tweeted the story and links, with an exhortation: “This news confirms that Uddhav Thackeray's government was the one that provided maximum employment even during the Covid pandemic period! A must read!”
Other senior party leaders have also taken to social media, either posting/reposting the IANS reports and Thackeray’s post, including MPs Priyanka Chaturvedi, Raghunath Kuchik, Sachin Ahir and many others,
Ex-Minister and MLA Aditya Thackeray referred to the report briefly in his media interaction while on a tour of the districts of Nashik and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar on Saturday, and is likely to address a press conference on the RTI revelations on Sunday.
Top Congress leaders, including state President Nana Patole, Working President M. Arif Naseem Khan, Chief Spokesperson Atul Londhe, General Secretary Sachin Sawant and other leaders also reacted and posted/forwarded the report.
Patole pointed out that though it enjoyed a tenure of just 30 months (two-and-a-half years) before being unceremoniously ejected, the MVA government’s performance exceeded that of the previous BJP CM Devendra Fadnavis’ full five-year tenure.
“It was a challenging period which the MVA faced… It was also during that period when BJP unleashed central investigating agencies to topple the Thackeray government, with the help of the (then) Governor. No efforts were spared to harass and defame the MVA, both by the state and the Centre,” Patole said.
However, now the RTI replies have made it clear that despite all the obstacles created by the Opposition, the MVA government tackled all the crises well and emerged with flying colours on all fronts, “even better than this unethical and unconstitutional regime currently ruling the state”, Patole added.
To make it easier for people to grasp, Sawant posted a graphic on his X (formerly Twitter) handle with a laudatory comment that “the MVA government was a successful performer”.
In Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad), Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reiterated that in the five years of the Fadnavis rule, the state had progressed immensely on investments, but everything was at a standstill for 30 months (of Thackeray rule), and claimed that now things are coming back on track.
In the MVA’s 30-month reign of ex-CM Thackeray (November 2019-June 2022), the state got 18,68,055 new micro-small-medium industries, 35 per cent higher compared to Fadnavis’ five-year (till October 2019) tenure when the state got 14,16,224 MSMEs, with the difference being 451,831 MSMEs.
Under Thackeray’s government, 88,47,905 jobs were created, 42 per cent more compared to 62,36,878 jobs during Fadnavis’ regime -- a difference of 26,11,027.
Sarda said that as per the RTI data, at the height of the pandemic, the state recorded 621,296 new enterprises registered with a total employment of 44,60,149 (2020-2021).
The following year, the number of new businesses shot up from 621,296 to 894,674 though new jobs fell marginally, from 44,60,149 to 42,36,436 (2021-2022), said the RTI reply.
After the Thackeray government collapsed, the number of new enterprises fell sharply from 894,674 to 734,956, and fresh employment opportunities also plummeted from 42,36,436 to 24,94,691 (2022-2023).
The RTI response to Sarda stated that between July 2020 and March 2023, 22.50 lakh new MSMEs were registered in Maharashtra, and nearly 1.12 crore new jobs were created promising all-round economic prosperity in the state.