‘If MLAs can abandon Uddhav, then…’: Maharashtra BJP chief on state losing projects
Chandrashekhar Bawankule claimed that during his tenure as the chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray did not visit the state secretariat in Mumbai for 18 months and “senior officials had to wait for his appointment”.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Sunday took a swipe at Uddhav Thackeray over the loss of projects from the state, thereby adding fresh steam to the war of words ongoing between Eknath Shinde-led government and the former chief minister. During his tour of Sangli district, Bawankule told reporters that if MLAs of Thackeray's own party can abandon him, then why industrial projects cannot go out of the western state, news agency PTI reported.
“But the blame of such decisions is put on the new government headed by Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,” Bawankule was quoted as saying.
He alleged that during his tenure as the chief minister, Uddhav spent time to manage his erstwhile allies of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime - the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The BJP leader said the former CM was not concerned whether any industry comes to Maharashtra or not.
“If you want to bring in large-scale industrial investment into the state, then the chief minister needs to be available. The previous CM (Thackeray) did not even visit the Mantralaya (state secretariat in Mumbai) for 18 months and senior officials had to wait for his appointment,” Bawankule, a former state ministers, added.
His remarks come in wake of the opposition camp slamming the Shinde-led government in Maharashtra for losing big-ticket projects to BJP-ruled states. On Sunday, former state minister and Uddhav's son Aaditya Thackeray lashed out at Shinde after a project of a dedicated manufacturing zone for power and renewable energy equipment went to the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh government.
“Maharashtra’s economic isolation. Seems like we have sanctions imposed on our state after khoke sarkar took power. This project was proposed for Butibori, Nagpur, by MVA in June 22. We’ve been denied 5 projects due to incompetence of industries minister,” Aaditya tweeted with a media report.
Several other leaders of Uddhav-led Shiv Sena faction, NCP and Congress also criticised the Shinde-headed Sena-BJP government for the loss of fifth project from Maharashtra. These included Priyanka Chaturvedi and NCP's Supriya Sule, among others.
Earlier, Maharashtra lost other projects such as ₹1.5 lakh crore Foxconn-Vedanta, ₹22,000 crore Tata Airbus, Medical drug park, and bulk drugs park to BJP-led Gujarat.
Meanwhile, on Friday (November 11), another Uddhav faction MP switched over to Shinde's. Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar joined the CM's side - Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena - becoming the 13th lower house member to ditch the Uddhav group since the MVA regime - Uddhav's Sena, Congress and NCP - collapsed in June.