Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway: Will it lead to Pawar vs Fadnavis? | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway: Will it lead to Pawar vs Fadnavis?

Mumbai city news: NCP chief Sharad Pawar will meet farmers and party leaders in Aurangabad on June 12 to discuss the course of action

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:31 IST
Faisal Malik
Pawar plans to confront the state government over the issue of land acquisition from farmers for Fadnavis’ pet project.
Pawar plans to confront the state government over the issue of land acquisition from farmers for Fadnavis’ pet project.(File)

Is a face-off between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis likely soon?

Pawar plans to confront the state government over the issue of land acquisition from farmers for Fadnavis’ pet project, the Mumbai- Nagpur Samruddhi (Prosperity) Expressway.

Pawar announced his plan in a press conference​ after he met a delegation of farmers in Mumbai on Tuesday.

He will meet farmers and party leaders in Aurangabad on June 12 to discuss the course of action.

If Pawar chooses to lead the farmers’ agitation, it will be his first direct face-off with CM Fadnavis.

About the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway
  • The Rs46,000-crore super-communication expressway will pass through 10 districts, covering a distance of 710km and connecting adjoining 24 rural districts
  • It will require 20,820 hectares, of which 8,520 hectares will be used for the road and the remaining to develop 24 townships
  • The aim is to provide seamless connectivity across districts namely Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Thane
  • The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is the nodal agency for the project.

Fadnavis, who was vocal against the NCP and corruption cases involving their leaders, managed to end the party’s dominance in the cooperative sector in the state. In the recent district council and municipal polls, the BJP wrested control of several local government bodies from the NCP.

In the state’s political circles, it is clear that Pawar and Fadnavis do not get along, although the former has cordial equation with some of the top BJP leaders.

Farmers in Nashik, Shahpur and some other places have been opposing the land acquisition for the project.

“Protests against the Samruddhi Expressway are on. I want to understand both the sides before taking a decision. After taking information from government officials, I met a delegation of affected farmers. It looks like the state government is not following the rules. Despite stern opposition from farmers, the procedure for land acquisition was started,” Pawar said adding, “I will not allow any injustice against farmers.”

The state government is in damage-control mode. On Sunday, the chief minister met representatives of the farmers opposing the project at Nashik to find a solution. “At some places, there is opposition to land acquisition . We have started a dialogue with them,” Fadnavis told the media.