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Poll Vault: MLAs In Maharashtra Keenly Await Budgetary Allocations Before They Change Parties

The last budgetary allocations before the October assembly polls in Maharashtra hold much political significance. Legislators across the political spectrum are eagerly waiting for fund allocations before deciding their next political move –which party to crossover. Currently, budgetary allocation is the only thing holding MLA’s from jumping on to other parties for tickets or even to contest as independents to protect their careers from coalition compulsions. It’s an open secret that budgetary allocations for works in constituencies are crucial for legislators not just as brownie points for seeking votes for elections but also serves as indirect funding for their elections through kickbacks from contractors. Ajit Pawar, who continues to retain the finance ministry despite change of governments in Maharashtra and has recently presented his 10th budget, is known to be partial towards providing allocations for his supporters. He has earlier been accused of walking away with fund allocations for his legislators even as overlooking those for the others. His nephew and most vocal critic Rohit Pawar has already accused the Mahayuti government of bringing out tenders with lax conditions to suit their favourite contractors with an eye on funding elections. The state, whose debt has already mounted to Rs 7.8 lakh crore, is planning to table supplementary demands worth over Rs 1 lakh crore for various works.