Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Jun 7: Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the state government should not be held responsible for augmenting the inflation rate in the state as it is prevalent not only on the country but also the world over.
Addressing mediapersons last night here after the launch of 'Sampark Yatra' in Aurangabad division, he said the state registered record-breaking produce of foodgrains while, the agriculture growth rate rose by half per cent, from 2 to 2.5 per cent, for the first time after independence, so it will be wrong to blame the government for price rise of essential commodities.
The 'Sampark Yatra' was launched to prepare ground for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. ''Through this campaign (Sampark Yatra), the party will take the information of development works done by DF government to the masses,'' he said.
When asked whether he will contest the next Lok Sabha elections, the Chief Minister said, ''Party high command would take decision on it and I would have to follow it.'' Condemning the attack on residence of Marathi Daily Loksatta's editor Kumar Ketkar, he said eight people were arrested in this regard and stern action would be taken against the guilty.
Replying to another query, Mr Deshmukh said the promise of building 309-foot statue of Shivaji Maharaj in Arabian Sea, made in the last election manifesto, will be fulfilled and work on it will begin soon after obtaining clearance from the environment department.
Admitting the delay in selection of office-bearers of various Government Committees, he said the process of their selection would begin soon.