In a swipe at the Opposition, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday said it was impossible that big-ticket investments could disappear from the State in a matter of three months.
Speaking in the Assembly on the concluding day of the winter session of the State Legislature, Mr. Shinde seemed to taunt former CM Uddhav Thackeray without naming him. Mr. Shinde said, “I had personally called PM Modi over this. He said no company leaves a State in two or three months. The PM said they [company representatives] did not get any response [from the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government under Uddhav Thackeray] and hence went away.” He was reacting to repeated remarks made by Mr. Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray against the six-month-old Shinde-Fadnavis government about “losing” big-ticket projects like Vedanta-Foxconn to neighbouring Gujarat.
Given that the new government had taken power in June this year, the Chief Minister stressed it was inconceivable for projects on the scale of Foxconn to move out so soon as there were several processes required to be completed.
Mr. Shinde further said there would be a probe into how businessmen faced obstacles in doing business in Maharashtra under the previous regime and why big-ticket investments moved out.
The CM reiterated that the new government had green-lighted projects to the tune of ₹70,000 crore of which projects worth ₹44,000 crore worth projects were for the development of the Vidarbha belt, leading to the generation of employment for 45,000 people.
The MVA Opposition has pushed back on this claim by stating that most of these projects had been approved during the tenure of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, which toppled after Mr. Shinde’s intra-party revolt split the Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile, senior NCP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajit Pawar and Congress State chief Nana Patole said that the Shinde-Fadnavis government had made “a mockery” of the ten-day winter session.
“It is the duty of the ruling parties to ensure that the session is conducted in an efficient manner. While we Opposition leaders used to be present at 9 a.m., their Ministers were not present for answering vital questions,” said Mr. Pawar.
Mr. Pawar said that on many occasions, call-to-attention questions were not taken up and, as a result, had to postponed to the next Assembly session to be held in February 2023.
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