Maha CM expresses confidence in upcoming polls

Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addresses a press conference ahead of monsoon session of Maharashtra State Assembly. (PTI Photo)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday expressed confidence that he would return to the top post in the state after the Assembly polls to be held later this year.

Speaking at a function to present awards instituted by the state government for excellence in journalism, Fadnavis announced that his government would set up an award in the name of former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee to felicitate journalists from Maharashtra working in other states.

"I am sure we will meet again next year for the presentation of the annual awards. This is confidence in the people and not overconfidence," he told the gathering.

Fadnavis said the media has often written that he holds the record for being the second CM after Vasantrao Naik to complete his five-year term.

"I think I hold another record of presenting the excellence in journalism awards for nine years in a five year period. My government has given annual awards not only for my five-year period but also for the four years of the previous government. No other chief minister in the state or even in the country has done this," Fadnavis said.

He said he had no favourites or enemies in the media and went on to claim "I have lots of friends in the media but never made a group so as to give news only to people close to me".

"In fact, in the last five years, not a single news has been leaked from the cabinet. This is not ego but just about following rules. After all, we have taken the oath of office and secrecy," he stressed.

He presented journalism awards for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Hitavada editor Vijay Phansalkar, senior journalist Ramesh Patange and Pandharinath Sawant were given Lokmanya Tilak Award for lifetime contribution for 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Sawant is former executive editor of 'Marmik', a magazine started by late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, while Patange is a former editor of 'Vivek', a monthly magazine close to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Meanwhile, journalist Kanchan Shrivastav (DNA), who has conferred the Anant Gopal Shewde Award for the best journalist in the English language for 2016, donated the prize money of Rs 51,000 to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Rajkumar Harihar Singh, a journalist with Navbharat Times who was presented the Baburao Vishnu Paradkar Award (Hindi) for 2017, also donated the prize money to the CMRF. 

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