Even as the ruling alliance of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are embroiled in a war of words over proposals for the new industrial policy of the state, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday asked political parties in Maharashtra to overlook differences and come together for the state’s development.
Pawar said that the state needed to emulate Gujarat, where political differences do not come in the way of development.
“When it comes to development, all parties in Gujarat overlook political differences and come together. If all members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) from the Konkan region also follow this, the region’s development will be expedited,” said Pawar.
The Union agriculture minister also said that the Konkan region faced too much opposition to development projects. An example of this was the nuclear power project at Jaitapur, which continues to face resistance from the locals, with the Opposition siding with residents.
Pawar’s statement can also be seen in the context of the new industrial policy that has led to fresh fracas between the allies. The NCP has raised objections to allowing real estate development in 40% of the land acquired for the special economic zones (SEZs), most of which never took off.
Pawar said that Konkan had a lot of potential for development in education and tourism. He added that there were several untapped opportunities in food processing, fishing and horticulture that could transform the face of the coastal region.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, also present at the function where Pawar was speaking, assured a meeting with all Konkan legislators to discuss and resolve pending issues of the region along with the potential for developing tourism.He added that the sea coast could also be exploited to start a dolphinarium, initiate backwater tourism and activities such as scuba diving.
Chavan promised state support in terms of requisite infrastructure to people investing in the region.