Next generation will not see drought: Fadnavis

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI file photo

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the next generation will not experience drought in the state, on Thursday as he embarked on his month-long MahaJanadeshYatra, state-wide tour, to highlight the achievements of his government.

Fadnavis (49), a "youth icon", also dared the leaders of the Congress and the NCP to engage with him in an "open debate" over his government's five years and their 15 years of Democratic Front rule.

The astute politician also chose not to name Shiv Sena, its alliance partner, even a single time in his 30-minute-long aureate address.

"I will not allow the next generation to see drought," Fadnavis said.

His tour was flagged off by Defence Minister and former BJP president Rajnath Singh.

"I don't claim, everything is okay or all issues are resolved... But in five years, we have done double that of what the earlier (the Congress-NCP Democratic Front) government did in 15 years," he said. 

"In five years, we have regained the numero uno position in several areas," he said. 

He said that recurring drought is a major issue and a challenge before the government.

"But let me assure... I will not allow the next generation to see drought," he said appealing a mandate for the second time.

"Vidarbha is facing drought, Marathwada too and parts of Western Maharashtra and North Maharashtra... We would interlink the rivers," he said.

In terms of performance, in FDI investment and industrial investment, the state is in leadership position now, he said, adding that very soon the state would be competing with other countries and not just Indian states.

On the exodus of leaders from Opposition parties like the Congress and the NCP,  he said that only those deserving are being taken.

"Those who are facing probes are being shown 'houseful' board," he said in the run up to the September-October Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls.

Meanwhile,  state BJP president and revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said that "We will cross 220."

"In fact, some people are telling that it should be 250," he said.

Like Fadnavis, he too did not speak about the Shiv Sena.

"Balasaheb (Thackeray) was one of the great personalities of Maharashtra," Rajnath Singh said and paid tributes to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

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