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Shiv Sena to protest against BJP’s ₹46,000-cr Mumbai-Nagpur eway, says it will ruin farmers’ lives

Mumbai city news: Shiv Sena warned the BJP of the repercussions of pushing the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway against farmers’ will

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:30 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,shiv Sena,BJP
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray lashed out at the BJP over the Rs46,000 crore project saying it would destroy the lives of farmers whose lands will be acquired for the 706 km expressway. (HT file )

Slamming the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur super expressway, one of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s pet projects, Shiv Sena in its party mouthpiece Saamana said it will protest if the state government decides to push for the project at farmers’ cost.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray lashed out over the Rs46,000 crore project saying it would destroy the lives of farmers whose lands will be acquired for the 706 km expressway.

In an editorial, which appeared on Friday, the party alleged that voices opposing the project were being suppressed by the authorities. The Sena said it would do everything to safeguard farmers’ interest.

Just two days ago, the Sena had targeted CM’s flagship water conservation scheme 1— Jalyukta Shivar — alleging that it was fraught with corruption worth crores.

Addressing a rally in Akola, Thackeray even claimed to unearth an irrigation saying that is was bigger than the one that occurred during the Cong-NCP regime in the state.

Countering the allegations, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “It is beyond our knowledge why the Sena is joining hands with the Congress and the NCP, who have always been against the development of Marathwada and Vidarbha. There is no corruption involved in any of the projects. And if those levelling allegations are able to prove even an iota of wrongdoing, the CM will immediately implement corrective measures.”

Congress Slams BJP

Congress’s Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam alleged that the CM and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari tweaked norms of the request for qualification (RFQ) for the expressway project. He said contractors affected by this alleged tweaking have approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It is a massive road scam in the offing and the CM is at its epicentre. The norms were tweaked in such a way that only five bidders remained in the process,” Nirupam added.

Rubbishing Nirupam’s allegations, Bhandari said the government will not push for the project against the will of farmers.

Moreover, the Opposition held a meeting on Friday to chalk out a strategy during the three-day special GST session which starts today .

“We will express our apprehensions and concerns over various issues, including drop in revenue, compensation of the loss and loss incurred by municipal corporations following the implementation of the new tax regime. We have decided to not let the bill pass without a debate. We will also push for loan waiver for farmers,” said a Congress leader.

First Published: May 20, 2017 09:56 IST