NCP today said the MNS's yesterday's agitation against the toll levy proved that protests through non-violent means and dialogue can make a difference. It also welcomed the proposed move of the Maharashtra government to review levy of toll on BOT projects costing upto Rs 10 crore.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said here that the decision would lead to stoppage of toll levy at 25 toll places.
"Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told MNS president Raj Thackeray at a meeting, which was attended by PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and public undertakings minister Jaidutt Kshirsagar, that toll levy at BOT (built-operate-transfer) projects which are worth less than Rs 10 crore will reviewed," Malik said.
He also rejected the criticism that MNS's agitation was stage-managed with the help of Congress-NCP. "Shiv Sena is making this allegation, but in fact the Chief Minister has a closer rapport with Sena chief and his PA, who is often found in the Chief Minister's office," said Malik.
He said the NCP also demanded that toll collection at two-lane highways/ bridges/ roads be stopped.
The NCP spokesperson also said that the agitation will not make any difference to Raj Thackeray's poll prospects as the issue concerned about 3 to 4 per cent of the electorate.
"Farmers, labourers and the common man at large who use public transport are not charged the toll. Toll is levied only on private and commercial vehicles," he said.
Malik also said that scrapping of toll collection at large projects is not possible, and BJP should first make Gujarat toll-free, and Maharashtra would be happy to follow the suit.