Maharashtra's new CM Fadnavis promises transparent government

Promising a transparent administration, Maharashtra's new Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said his government will bring in a legislation for better delivery of services to the people.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 31, 2014, 22:59 PM IST

Mumbai: Promising a transparent administration, Maharashtra's new Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said his government will bring in a legislation for better delivery of services to the people.
44-year-old Fadnavis, who was sworn in as Chief Minister of the first BJP government in the state, got down to work immediately and has instructed Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya to have a draft of the Right to Service Bill ready within a month.
"I have directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a draft of the legislation, a form of citizen's charter, to provide better services to the people who can take legal recourse if they don't get them," he told reporters at a meet the press programme shortly after taking oath.
He said the decision was taken at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers. Portfolios will be allocated to the seven Cabinet and two Ministers of State tomorrow.
"People of Maharshtra have high expectations from us and it is a big responsibility. We will provide an efficient and transparent administration with focus on development," he said.
"The state government's financial condition is not that good. If all the assurances given by the erstwhile (Congress-NCP) government are to be implemented, the government would have to spend Rs 52,000 crore," Fadnavis said.
The Chief Minister said the decisions taken by the previous Congress-NCP government just before the model code of conduct for election kicked in will be reviewed.
"It will take time to bring the administration back on the track but we will do it. We will bring Maharashtra to the number one position," he said.
Asked about the possibility of Shiv Sena joining the new government, Fadnavis said," There was a positive talk between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thckeray today."
On the presence of godmen at the swearing-in ceremony, Fadnavis said, "They belonged to all religions. There is a thin line between belief and superstition. We are against superstition."
He also assured to look into the grievances of the media, particularly incidents of attack on journalists, and said there will be a regular media briefing after state cabinet meetings, a practice discontinued during the tenure of Vilasrao Deshmukh as Chief Minister.
"People expect the government to be both transparent and efficient," Fadnavis said, explaining the need for right to service legislation, and added that it would be tabled in the Budget session of the Assembly at Nagpur next year.
The Chief Minister said the state's finances were not in a good shape and he would need time to restore the financial health.
When asked if a white paper on the economy would be published, as he had demanded as an opposition leader, Fadnavis said discussions about this were underway.
He said that he could make mistakes, but added, "I will ensure that there will be no malafide intentions".
On a question about demand of statehood for Vidarbha, Fadnavis, once a strong votary of a separate state, said his priority now was to remove the imbalance in development.
"My aim will be to restore number one position of Maharashtra," he said.
Justifying today's lavish swearing-in ceremony, the new Chief Minister said there was a change of guard in the state after 15 years, and "naturally, many people from various parts of the state wanted to attend it".
When asked about the call for austerity given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Fadnavis said his government's actions would show commitment to austerity.
About various scams, for which he had targeted the Congress-NCP government from the opposition benches, Fadnavis said action would be taken wherever necessary.
The Chief Minister said though he had addressed many a press conferences as an opposition leader, "for the first time he was feeling nervous because of the change of role".
"There is an immense burden of expectations. However, more than burden...I will say I am aware of the huge responsibility and will try my best to fulfil it," he said.
The allocation of portfolios of the ministers who took the oath with him today would be done tomorrow, he said.