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Plastic ban a ploy to collect money from manufacturers for elections, says Raj Thackeray

Ban imposed to extort money from plastic manufacturers, said the MNS chief and appealed to people not to pay the fine.

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2018 14:12 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
MNS chief Raj Thackeray.(HT File Photo)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday alleged that the plastic ban was imposed deliberately to extort money from plastic manufacturers, and appealed to people not to pay the fines imposed.

In addition, without naming his nephew and Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray, who worked for the ban, he said one person’s whims cannot become the state’s agenda. “This is just like demonetisation, which was declared by one person without any planning, and people had to suffer,” said Thackeray.

Addressing the media, Raj called the ban ill-conceived, with ulterior motives, and thrust upon citizens. “This ban is to get money for election funding from plastic manufacturers. In the coming months, we will notice that rules will be eased, and the whole campaign will fizzle out as the money comes in. Then, everyone will forget the ban,” he said.

Thackeray appealed to citizens to not pay the fine. “If BMC officials ask you to pay the fine, tell them to provide basic facilities first before imposing the ban. Ask them, will the BMC pay fines to citizens for the bad condition of roads and footpaths. The BMC does not punish the contractors for the potholed roads but is enthusiastic to fine the citizens despite giving them no alternative,” he said. “In Nashik, during our rule, we introduced measures to turn plastic into fuel, why cannot they do that in Mumbai and Thane?”

The MNS chief also targeted state environment minister Ramdas Kadam, who had mocked that he was afraid that his nephew Aaditya would get credit for the ban. “He should not bring our relationship into the picture as I am questioning the government. He should not try to strain relationships,” he said.

Responding, Kadam lambasted the MNS chief and said countries across world have banned plastic. “In that case, does he want to say that the entire world is collecting funds for elections in the name of plastic ban,” Kadam asked. “Everyone knows who was collecting money at toll plazas, he alleged.

The state government has enforced a ban on a wide variety of plastic materials and imposed a fine from Rs5,000 upwards.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 11:09 IST