Published By: Sanstuti Nath
Last Updated: July 26, 2023, 13:20 IST
A day after a slanging match with ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray questioned the BJP on its poll promise of a ‘toll-free Maharashtra’, here on Wednesday.
“What happened to your announcement of making the state ‘toll-free’? When the roads are so bad, full of potholes and traffic jams then why should you collect toll and road taxes,” demand Raj Thackeray, upping the ante against the government.
He rued that though a Marathi is the Union Minister for Highways (Nitin Gadkari), the situation of roads in his home state is pathetic, yet people have to start paying whenever a new road comes up, but “where’s all the money collected in tolls going?”
“What about the huge delays in implementing projects… The Mumbai sea-link took 10 years to build, the Mumbai-Goa highway has been incomplete for 17 years… The Mumbai-Nagpur SuperExpressway (Samruddhi Mahamarg) has noamenities, no safety and over 400 people have been killed in accidents since its inauguration…” Raj Thackeray, adding the BJP should answer.
His sharp comments came a day after the BJP-MNS bitterly pounced on each other on social media after the latter’s activists allegedly vandalised a toll-post in Sinnar, Nashik late on Saturday.
The incident, which was used by the BJP to target the MNS, took place hours after the MNS scion Amit Raj Thackeray was reportedly delayed and harassed at the toll-booth venue a few hours earlier.
“Now, Amit Thackeray is in politics, so there are bound to be accusations… But what about the sufferings of the people who pay up the toll without getting the promised amenities,” demanded Raj Thackeray, in Pune for some party meetings.
The issue of traffic snarls on highways had figured in the Maharashtra Legislative on Tuesday with heated exchanges between the Opposition and the government.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)