In the first war of words between Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis after the latter was made the deputy Chief Minister, the former CM on Friday opposed the move to shift the Mumbai Metro-3 carshed back to Aarey, asking the new state government “not to play with the environment and Mumbai”, even as the BJP leader insisted that Aarey was the right place for the project.
A day after he was made the deputy CM and rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde the CM, Fadnavis overturned the decision of the MVA to shift the carshed to Kanjurmarg, calling it a wrong move on the previous government’s part. The urban development (UD) department will now prepare the proposal for the carshed at Aarey Colony and bring it before the next cabinet meet.
Speaking to the media after stepping down as CM, Thackeray said, “I am sad because of the move on Aarey car shed. Do not harm Mumbai and Mumbaikars just because you are angry with me. Hurt me, not Mumbaikars. The Aarey plot is important for the environment… Don’t project anger on Mumbaikars.”
He added, “Consider the proposal of having Metro-3 carshed at Kanjurmarg. I am requesting with folded hands, don’t insist on making the carshed at Aarey.”
For his part, Fadnavis said, “A lot of work on Metro-3 is completed but unless carshed work is done, the Metro cannot run. The plot where the earlier government had proposed the carshed (in Kanjurmarg) is a disputed one and even after getting the carshed now, the work will take at least four years. In Aarey, which was cleared by the Supreme Court, 25 per cent work on that land is already complete and the remaining 75 per cent can be completed immediately. Hence, for the benefit of Mumbaikars, if we have to start the Metro soon, then the car shed has to be in Aarey only.”
Thackeray also questioned the BJP’s decision to make a “so-called Shiv Sainik” the CM when it did not keep its 2019 promise of rotating the post between the two parties. The Sena chief said, “Had Home Minister Amit Shah kept his promise of having a Shiv Sena CM for 2.5 years, there would have been a BJP CM for at least 2.5 years. I don’t know what they have achieved after forming this government as that would mean that there would be no BJP CM in Maharashtra for the entire five-year tenure.”
“There is now again an attempt to create a misconception… that there is a Shiv Sena CM in Maharashtra. But there can’t be a Shiv Sena CM by keeping the Sena aside,” he said.