Shinde-Fadnavis to meet PM to get Airbus-Tata military aircraft project: Samant
The Shinde-BJP government has been under sustained opposition fire after losing the USD 20 billion Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat
Mumbai: Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi next week to seek his help to get a big project for Maharashtra, state industries minister Uday Samant said on Thursday
The Shinde-BJP government has been under sustained opposition fire after losing the USD 20 billion Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat. The state government got into damage control mode as the emotive issue of big- ticket projects moving from Maharashtra to Gujarat, has given the opposition a chance to build an attacking narrative. Samant’s announcement comes on the back of his earlier statement that Modi had assured Eknath Shinde that Maharashtra will soon a get a big employment-generating project.
On Thursday, Samant hinted that that could be the Airbus and Tata JV to manufacture C-295 medium transport aircrafts as part of the Indian Air Force’s modernisation plan. Towards this, the defence ministry had signed a ₹22000 crore contract with the Germany headquartered Airbus Defence and Space in September last year. At present Maharashtra is competing with Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to set up a manufacturing facility for these C-295s. As per the information that is in the public domain, 40 planes will be manufactured in India by a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) within 10 years of signing the contract. The remaining 16 aircrafts will be delivered in a flyaway condition by the Airbus Defence and Space within 48 months of signing the contract.
The opposition parties however kept up the pressure on the state government for the third straight day after Vedanta and the Taiwanese conglomerate Foxconn announced the MoU with the Gujarat government. NCP chief Sharad Pawar cautioned the government to work towards employment generation rather than finger-pointing at the opposition. The statements made by the chief minister and the industries minister blaming the previous Uddhav Thackeray government was not a wise move, he said, as the two of them had been ministers in the same government.
“There is no point in discussing the project now that it has moved from Maharashtra. The PM’s promise of a new project for Maharashtra is like convincing a child who is unhappy over something,” he told the media.
The Shiv Sena’s youth wing started a signature campaign in Pune to pressure the state government to bring the chip-manufacturing project to Maharashtra.
The state government responded to all these oppositional tactics by saying it will set up a committee to probe whether the state lost out on the $20 billion project because of any wrong doing on the part of the previous MVA government.
BJP’s city unit chief Ashish Shelar said a former high court judge should head the probe to see whether MVA leaders had demanded any commission from Vedanta-Foxconn.