The simmering tension between Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to flare up.
In Mumbai to showcase the Centre’s one-year achievements, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar slammed state environment minister and Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, for stalling environmental clearances in the State.
Calling the issue ‘serious’, Javadekar said he had asked the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and rein Kadam in.
HT had reported Kadam demanding more say in the Centre-appointed state environmental appraisal panels. Alleging that he was not being kept in the loop of projects being cleared by these panels, Kadam had said the agenda of their meetings must be finalised only after his approval. Kadam had also written to the chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, claiming he was being bypassed in the functioning of the committees.
The tussle has resulted in several real estate and infrastructure projects across the state left pending.
“The Centre has delegated powers to various state governments and allowed them to clear projects in their territories. However, these have to be exercised with responsibility,” Javadekar said, referring to the controversy.
When prodded further, he said, “I have already asked the chief minister Fadnavis to intervene and rein it in.” Seeking to chide Kadam, the Union minister said that under him, his ministry had approved 84 major projects.
Javadekar’s statement is being seen as a major snub to Kadam, who is considered to one of the senior Sena ministers and one of the five Sena cabinet ministers. Kadam has also voiced his discontent with the BJP over portfolio allocation. Last week, he had demanded he be given the prestigious Home department, currently held by the chief minister.
“I have always wanted the Home portfolio. However, after taking over, I realised that environment portfolio is important. Now, given my enthusiasm, even the CM is telling me to take it easy and hence, I wonder how long I’ll remain the environment minister for,” Kadam had said.