ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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ASSAM-Governor to the Rescue

mobilising Rs 17,000 crore worth of investment in the state. In support of its claim that Maharashtra leads other states in attracting investments, it approvingly quotes a recent survey by a business journal and holds up the collection of Rs 975 crore through the Krishna Valley Development Bonds as evidence of the people's faith in the policies of the SS-BJP government. Nevertheless, the statistical information provided by the government in its reply does indicate a drop in the government's expenditure on the EGS, as charged by the Congress. Moreover, despite the promises held out at the Advantage Maharashtra convention, hardly any project has taken off. The finalisation of the electoral alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Republican Party of India (RPI) has improved the Congress Party's prospects. As else where, the state Congress is banking on Sonia Gandhi to consolidate the vote bank of dalits and Muslims in its favour, especially in the Aurangabad, Nanded, Hingoli, Jalna and Latur districts of the Marathawada region where dalits and Muslims form a substantial part of the population. That Gopinath Munde had to make the gesture of offering to relinquish his deputy chief minister's post in favour of an RPI aspirant and Pramod Mahajan promised that Chaityabhumi would be given the same status as Rajghat reveal that the BJP leadership is taking the threat very seriously. Similarly, Thackeray's suggestion that a national monument be built at the site of the Babri masjid is clearly intended to cajole the Muslims. Yet the chance of the SS-BJP alliance dividing the committed dalit and Muslim votes is negligible.

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