Uddhav, Rane praise Gadkari, hail him as ‘most efficient union minister’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Uddhav, Rane praise Gadkari, hail him as ‘most efficient union minister’

Mumbai city news: Gadkari was the public works development minister in the Sena-BJP government from 1995 to 1999 and is credited for steering the Mumbai-Pune expressway project.

mumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2017 00:26 IST
Manasi Phadke
Union ministerNitin Gadkari
Union ministerNitin Gadkari(HT File)

Two bitter rivals — Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Congress leader Narayan Rane — brought together on the same dais by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Union minister Nitin Gadkari, found something in common among their differences: their praise for Gadkari and his development work.

Speaking at the bhoomipujan of the Mumbai-Goa highway expansion at Kudal in Sindhudurg district, Thackeray described Gadkari, minister for road transport, highways and shipping, as the most efficient minister in the union cabinet.

Thackeray said, “When our government was in power, we decided to build 55 flyovers. Most of them are complete now. We even very speedily built the Mumbai Pune expressway. Today I would like to say, the speed at which you (Gadkari) work one can say that in today’s cabinet you are perhaps the minister fastest at execution.”

Congress’ Narayan Rane, a Shiv Sena rebel, also praised Gadkari as being a ‘vikas purush’ (a development-oriented person) and spoke highly of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying they have taken the state towards progress.

Rane was expelled from the Sena for openly questioning Thackeray’s ability to lead. Following his expulsion, Rane took a chunk of Sena MLAs and joined the Congress. Later, he launched a vicious campaign against the Thackerays, and Uddhav Thackeray too has been overtly critical of Rane.

Gadkari was the public works development minister in the Sena-BJP government from 1995 to 1999 and is credited for steering the Mumbai-Pune expressway project and the construction of some major flyovers in Mumbai.

Thackeray added that ministers have traditionally always presented development plans to the public, even making tall promises of moulding Konkan into California. “These kind of announcements have also been made earlier, but things are different now,” Thackeray said. He added the way this coalition government almost made Mumbai and Pune seem like one city with the expressway, the expansion of the Mumbai-Goa highway will bring the entire Konkan region close to the city.