Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Sep 17: Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh exhorted Congress activists to work with devotion and take welfare and development works to the rural areas in order to retain the power in the state.
''The coming year will be the year of elections. So, each party activist should work with devotion and take welfare and development works to the rural areas to retain the power in the state,'' said Mr Deshmukh, while speaking at a programme held in Agrasen Bhavan in Cidco area last evening to honour new Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre. Cooperation and District Guardian Minister Dr Patangrao Kadam presided over the function.
He said the Centre gave Rs 71,000 crore loan wavier to the farmers, but the state government wanted to do something for those who are paying loan regularly.
Mr Deshmukh assured Mr Thakre that the party would retain power in the state with the help of Marathwada activists.
He said of the 18 elected MPs from Vidarbha and Marathwada, the Congress had won only one seat which, he said, was not good.
Regretting that the Congress had the Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat for a short time during the time of Ramkrishna Baba, the Chief Minister urged the party activists to gear up to unfurl the flag of the party in the capital of Marathwada.
''There may be differences among party leaders, but all party activists have responsibility to ensure the victory of the candidates chosen by party president Sonia Gandhi,'' he added.
Earlier, State Industries Minister Ashok Chavan, Social Justice Minister Chandrakant Handore, MLA (west) Rajendra Darda, MLA (east) Dr Kalyan Kale and others spoke at the programme.