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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

CM Uddhav Thackeray knows Mumbaiites’ issues, the projects they need: Sena minister

mumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2019 00:29 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustantimes
         

Subhash Desai, 77, a senior Shiv Sena leader and minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, on Monday said although running a three-party government may be a challenge, the three parties – Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – have come together with a common motive of keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power. He is also confident that the government will complete its five-year tenure.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Uddhav Thackeray recently conceded that running a three-party government is a challenge. According to you, what are the challenges?

Uddhav Thackeray spoke the truth, but we will not face any major challenge or hurdles, as the three parties are positive about running the government successfully for the full term. They have come together on a common plank – keeping the BJP away. On those grounds, we see no difficulty in completing five years in coalition. We will run the government based on the common minimum programme that was finalised.

The chief minister said he intends to bring projects to Mumbai. What can we expect in the coming days?

He [Uddhav Thackeray] is the first chief minister of Maharashtra who was born in Mumbai. He is handling the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for nearly 20 years now. He knows the issues that Mumbaiites face and the projects the city needs. He definitely has good ideas. He is aware of the ground reality, so he knows what people want. He will not come up with ideas just for pomp and show. Under his leadership, we will carry out projects that will impact lives positively. Schemes and projects for the city will be rolled out gradually.

The Shiv Sena was the first to bring up ‘sons of the soil’ agenda, now the Congress has replicated it in other states. Reservation for locals in private sector jobs is on the cards for the new government as well...

Yes, since the time of [Shiv Sena founder] Balasaheb [Thackeray], the issue of jobs for locals has been close to us. The Shiv Sena has taken it up and included it in the common minimum programme, as unemployment is a major issue in the state. Our friends in the government – the NCP and Congress – have also welcomed it.

What are the main issues for the government?

There are many. Agrarian distress tops the list. Providing relief to farmers is a priority.

Issues of the state and nation have been kept separate. Does it mean the Shiv Sena will continue its Hindutva agenda, say on National Registry of Citizens (NRC) or common civil code, etc?

Our aim is the welfare of people of Maharashtra and growth of the state. We have come together on this agenda. Recently, Uddhavji said in the Assembly that he will not let go of his Hindutva. This is the party’s agenda, but while running the state we have a common (CMP) agenda.

As the party’s agenda, will the Shiv Sena support the NRC and speak in favour of uniform civil code?

That comes later; we will see… You are asking me about the coalition government. Let us focus on that. Our agenda is development and growth in Maharashtra.

You were the state industries minister in the previous government. What portfolio are you keen on handling this time and what are your priorities?

Portfolio distribution is yet to be done. It should happen in a few days. I will fulfill every responsibility Uddhavji asks me to.