State Congress president Manikrao Thakre on Thursday said the party was opposed to having a racecourse at Mahalaxmi because “it proliferated social ills such as gambling”.
While Thakre did not directly say the government shouldn’t extend the lease, he said the decision should be one that would benefit the most people.
“We want the government to consider public opinion before taking any decision,” Thakre said. He was also dismissive of the Shiv Sena’s plans for the land.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has asked the government not to renew the lease for the racecourse land and develop a public park on the land instead. However, Chavan has indicated he is not keen on the demand.
Thakre chose not to respond when it was pointed out that Congress governments had renewed the RWITC’s lease of the racecourse three times. On Thursday, HT had reported that the racecourse land lease was renewed thrice between 1914 and 2013, the last renewal being in 2004.