Nashik: Union Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari has said Maharashtra's development took a backseat during the previous Congress-NCP government under whose watch thousands of farmers committed suicide.
He also trained guns at former Congress Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and described him as an "inefficient" administrator.
Under the Congress-NCP government, Maharashtra dropped to No. 6 position in terms of growth, he claimed, speaking at a series of poll meetings in North Maharashtra's Nandurbar and Nashik districts in support of BJP Assembly election candidates last night.
Gadkari said over 10,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last few years in the state, where agriculture sector suffers from electricity shortage and inadequate irrigation system.
The Union Minister addressed rallies in support of BJP candidates Vijaykumar Gavit (Nandurbar-ST) and those fielded from Kalwadi and Satana (Nashik district).
Gadkari said his party's new mantra was "sabka saath, sabka vikas" (development involving all sections).
He announced that work for four-laning of Amravati-Surat Road will begin within the next three months.
Gadkari said debt burden on farmers increased during the tenure of Sharad Pawar as Agriculture Minister under the UPA rule, which also saw thousands of farmers committing suicide.
The BJP leader said defeat of Congress in the October 15 Assembly polls is necessary to ensure the state's development.