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4-min read

Cong to Raise Economic 'Decline', Joblessness in Upcoming Polls in Haryana & Maharashtra

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday said the Congress would take on the saffron parties on these issues as well as on 'the attempts to dismantle opposition parties'.

PTI

Updated:September 21, 2019, 5:11 PM IST
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Cong to Raise Economic 'Decline', Joblessness in Upcoming Polls in Haryana & Maharashtra
Representative image.

Mumbai: The Congress and the NCP will raise issues like farm crisis, "economic slowdown" and unemployment in the run-up to the assembly elections in

Maharashtra, scheduled next month.

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday said the Congress would take on the saffron parties on these issues as well as on "the attempts to dismantle opposition parties".

"The election dates have not come as a surprise. We were in the midst of preparations keeping in mind that the dates will be announced around this time. The process of seat and ticket distribution is going on. There can be some last minute changes. We will take on the ruling party and the government on issues facing the people," Chavan told PTI.

Maharashtra will go for a single-phase elections on October 21. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24. He said some leaders may have defected from the

Congress-NCP camp "but the common people are with us".

Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday said it will raise suicides by farmers and "pro-people" issues such as corruption and loss of jobs in the assembly polls next month, that the governments in Maharashtra and Haryana are trying to deflect.

The opposition party claimed the government is on its way out due to "slowdown and lockdown".

Soon after the Election Commission announced the election schedule in Maharashtra and Haryana, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera welcomed it and said the party is completely ready to contest the polls.

He said the people in Jharkhand were also looking forward to polls in their state. Former minister and senior Congress leader Naseem Khan also welcomed poll schedule.

Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik exuded confidence that there will be a change of guard in the state.

"As expected, the Election Commission has declared October 21 as the polling date. We hope the Election Commission and administration will ensure free and fair polls as recommended in the Constitution and mentioned by the Commission," Malik said.

He said the BJP and Shiv Sena benefited in the Lok Sabha polls held in Maharashtra due to division of votes, and added people have realised this now. The BJP and Shiv Sena had won 23 and 18 seats, respectively in Maharashtra, out of the total 48 seats. On the other hand, the NCP and the Congress won only

five seats among them.

The opposition parties had accused the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, led by Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh's Prakash Ambedkar and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, of eating into their votes.

On the issues his party was planning to highlight, the NCP leader said, "Unemployment is on the rise, the problem of economic slowdown has deepened and the number of farmers' suicides has gone up. The people are waiting for the change of guard, which is bound to happen".

The Congress and the NCP have decided to contest 125 seats each out of the total 288 seats in the polls.

On the issue of simultaneous polls, Pawan Khera said, "But when polls in three states cannot be held simultaneously, the government talks about One Nation, One Poll," he said. Khera said the Congress will raise "pro-people" issues that the governments in Maharashtra and Haryana are trying to deviate from.

"Lakhs of sugarcane farmers are sitting on Delhi's border to demand their dues. What about them," he asked, referring to farmers from Uttar Pradesh who were on their way to Kisan Ghat in Delhi, demanding sugarcane dues, loan waivers and cheap electricity.

Khera said the Congress will also raise the issue of loss of 15 lakh jobs and Rs 20 lakh crore in stock market in the last three months.

"We will also ask that on one hand you have held a former union minister (Chidambaram) in custody while you are protecting your former minister," he said, in an apparent reference to allegations of rape levelled against BJP leader Chinmayanand.

Khera said the issue of suicide by farmers has become very serious in Maharashtra.

"The issue has become so serious that the people of Maharashtra are looking forward to remove this government," he claimed.

He said in Haryana, the Congress will raise the issues of disruption of law and order and rise in corruption.

Answering a question, Khera took a swipe at the 'Howdy! Modi' event in Houston, US.

"Fifteen lakh people who lost their jobs and farmers sitting at Delhi's border want him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) to respond to them but he will go to Houston and tell the people there 'Howdy Modi'. It is the people of India that have elected him, not the US," he added.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, in a video, said the people of Haryana and Maharashtra are looking forward to remove the BJP government.

"Congress will win in both these two states. The BJP government is now recognised by slowdown and lockdown. The current government is a capitalist government that has been made by capitalists and run by capitalists. People have decided to defeat this government and they will get a befitting reply to it in the upcoming elections," Surjewala said.

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