I have been working in the field of politics and social work since 1984. I was the chairman of Rajarambapu cooperative sugar factory for the 10 consecutive years. I also got elected to the assembly constituency. Later I was appointed finance minister, home minister and rural development minister and thus I have been minister for the last 15 years. Taking my good work into consideration, people in my constituency continuously elected me to the assembly for 5 times. This assembly election will be my sixth term.
The people in this assembly constituency have always bestowed their affection on me. After the untimely demise of Bapu, circumstances forced me to take plunge into politics and cooperative sector. However once I took over the charge, I did not look back. I work for my constituency. My dream is to make people in my constituency happy and prosperous. I am constantly striving to realize my dream. As the head of Rajarambapu cooperatives group, it is my responsibility. I am leaving no stone unturned to realize that dream.
I have never staked ownership rights on the institutions in the cooperative complex. A member is the owner in the cooperative sector. Hence I was entrusted with the institutions with great trust and I lived up to the public trust by nurturing, preserving and promoting these institutions. I have used them for the development of members only. What is the condition of those who used the cooperative institutions for their own welfare? You all know. All those institutions have collapsed like a house of cards. Some have shut their shop while some have been handed over to others to manage and some have simply sold them off. They have betrayed the members and cheated them financially. Nobody can point his finger at any of our institutions. They are running well on the support and strength of people. They have been supporting the development of the region.
While working as MLAs and ministers, many neglect their constituencies. Some approach the electorate saying ‘elect me to work in legislative assembly’. But I do not subscribe to this kind of thought. I believe that even while working as a minister, one can efficiently work in the constituency. Therefore I have constantly remained in touch with my constituency. Every village and town in my constituency bears stamp of my work. I have effectively implemented official schemes there. I have carried out developmental works worth crores and secured funds for the same from the government.
Even if you take into consideration my record of work in the last five years, you will find that I have executed works worth Rs two to four crores in every town. I have tried to realize the uniqueness of every town. I have constructed internal roads in villages and towns, and the roads that connected them to other towns. I renovated the religious places, built cultural halls and community halls for enabling people to come together at one place; constructed bridges, flood protection walls, ghats, gymnasiums, crematorium sheds and so forth. Besides, I accomplished so many tasks through the sugar mill, dairy federation, bank, education society that one will simply lose count of them.
I have always attached great importance to the overall development of individual and family. I did work with focus on sectors like agriculture, cooperatives, education, health, economy, sports and cultural development.
I made plenty of water available for agricultural purpose; sugar mill extended all help for sugarcane cultivation, remunerative price for sugarcane, economic assistance to increase dairy business, gave milch animals, catered to the economic needs of the farmers by extending loan through bank. My effort is to ensure high quality education for children so that they are equipped with all the essential knowledge and skills to hold their head high in the competitive world outside. This is the purpose behind imparting them high quality education through schools and colleges in the constituency. I have often encouraged even those with talent for arts and liking for sports.
I have often patted them on back in admiration. I give them all possible assistance. Let me tell you that I am not boasting about the work I have done. Whatever work I have done has been part of my duty. I have continued to derive joy from this work. I still visit your towns. Meet people and chat with them. I listen to their demands and try to fulfill them. This also I consider a part of my duty. I have a close rapport with people in my constituency, I enjoy a bond of affection with them and this relationship inspires me to do greater work.
Earlier Walva was an assembly constituency. That time the entire taluka was my area of operation. But in the meantime, this constituency was realigned and therefore many towns in Walve taluka were transferred to Shirala assembly constituency. Now it has become Islampur assembly constituency. There are 56 villages and towns under its jurisdiction out of which 48 places are from Walva taluka. Besides, there are 8 places from from the adjoining Miraj taluka. The constituency includes towns like Islampur, Ashtaa which have municipal councils.
Every town in the constituency has some special characteristics. Every town and every person is important from my point of view. I have never discriminated against any town in terms of developmental work. I have kept politics confined to election time, other time I have always considered all as equal. I have never distinguished between man and man, never divided people as ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’or considered anyone as my opponent. I have never believed in the politics of caste. I consider every man important. I have worked, have been working and will work for all even in future. I am working out of the belief that everyone in my constituency should get work and their overall development should take place. Their economic status should improve and they should prosper.
There is enough work in the developing country like India for those who want to work earnestly. Many tasks are still to be accomplished and the mission to make every town high-tech has to be continued further. I have to do some ideal developmental work in the country. It should be noted that no town or village can develop sans technology. That is why the emphasis is put on e-services. Schemes have to be speedily implemented using e-banking.
It was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to make every village self-dependent. I want to work to translate that dream into reality. Every person and family should stand on own. Implementation of poverty eradication scheme in my constituency is the part of that. Under the scheme, efforts were made to improve the economic condition of the poor. I have to enlarge the scope of this work so that those families do not face the economic hardships again. I have to work further in the field of providing health care to the people.
My emphasis is going to be on the implementation of the government schemes. The youngsters are being imparted a high quality education and thereafter their participation in agriculture, industry, agro-industries has to be increased. New industries are to be brought to this part to generate employment for the young boys and girls, and to mould them into responsible citizens of tomorrow.
Women form 50 percent of the population. They are entering every field of human endevour. I am trying my best to provide them work and there is huge scope for their employment. I want to give a wider dimension to the concept of women’s empowerment.
Importance of water is going to increase in the days to come. Therefore drip irrigation sets should be installed to save and conserve water. It will also keep the farm soil in good condition. Hence I am going to create awareness about the careful use of water. At present these efforts are underway but their scope has to be expanded further. Continuous and overuse of water along with chemical fertilizers has decreased the productivity of soil. The top layer of the soil has to be kept in top condition by carrying on organic farming and using less water. This is going to be our area of focus in future.
We conducted an eco village experiment to make villages more eco-friendly. We undertook a massive afforestation drive and planted saplings on a large scale. We have to ensure that the saplings survive and grow into trees. We will not be able to fight global warming with that. We have to create awareness about nature and environment to maintain ecological balance. We have to adopt a technology that would ensure durability of the roads. We need to fight superstition and hence we need to acquire a scientific viewpoint and develop scientific temper in society. Efforts will have to be made to promote scientific approach to agriculture, industry, education and social life. I am going to strive for all this. I am going to equip Islampur with wi-fi facility.
Though I have worked continuously in the constituency, I have to still cover a lot of ground. I am sure that this will be possible with your cooperation only. I am fully confident that as always you will give me strength at the time of election and give me your blessings. This is my humble request to you to give me an opportunity to serve you more. I know you have bestowed your affection on me, let it be more bountiful on this occasion!