On chip plant in Gujarat, Vedanta says 'independent choice'; Fadnavis replies
The clarification came after the opposition parties slammed the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government for letting the Vedanta deal slip away from the state.
As opposition parties in Maharashtra attacked the Eknath Shinde-led government for losing a multi-billion dollar semi-conductor facility to Gujarat, Vedanta Resources Ltd Chairman Anil Agarwal on Wednesday said that the company is still committed to investing in Maharashtra. In a series of tweets, Agarwal insisted that the company chose Gujarat based on “professional and independent advice.”
"We decided on Gujarat few months ago as it met our expectations. But in the July meeting with Maharashtra leadership, they made a huge effort to outbid other states with a competitive offer. We have to start in one place and based on professional and independent advice, we chose Gujarat," Agarwal said in a tweet.
“We will create a pan-India ecosystem & are fully committed to investing in Maharashtra as well. Maharashtra will be our key to forward integration in our Gujarat JV,” he added.
On Tuesday, Vedanta Ltd and Taiwan's Foxconn signed a memorandum of understanding to invest $19.5 billion for semiconductor and display production plants in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The clarification from Vedanta chairman came after the opposition parties slammed the Shinde-led Maharashtra government for letting the Vedanta deal slip away from the state. (Also Read | Raj Thackeray wants probe into how Vedanta deal goes to Gujarat; ‘not good sign’)
Outlining the repercussions, Aditya Thackeray said, "Eknath Shinde didn't just take away our 40 MLA's but also big projects of Maharashtra to Gujarat. Who is responsible for the loss of 2 lakh crores and 1 lakh job opportunities in our state."
The Congress warned of massive protest if the Vedanta-Foxconn project is not brought back to the state from Gujarat. Congress spokesman Atul Londhe said that Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis should not betray the state "by brokering a deal" for Gujarat.
"How did the Foxconn project go to Gujarat even though the infrastructure in Dholera is not favourable for it?" he asked.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule called on political parties to fight with the Centre for the chip plant. She alleged that Gujarat bagging the deal was part of a "conspiracy" to reduce Maharashtra's importance.
“It is part of a larger conspiracy to bring down the importance of Maharashtra, the only state in the country poised to become a trillion dollar economy," she told reporters. “I am making these allegations consciously...the Union government is consistently taking steps to demean Maharashtra. There will be a long-term setback for Maharashtra as we continue to lose more and more mega investment projects,” she said.
Following Agarwal's clarification, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the company's decision to “choose Maharashtra for forward integration.”
He said it was “disappointing that negative, false and baseless claims are being spread to gain political mileage.”
“This is only to hide their own incompetence. I want to ask opposition leaders, who sent back ₹3.5 lakh crore refinery from Maharashtra?”