Defending his decision of shifting the Metro car shed from Aarey colony to Kanjurmarg, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday appealed to the Union government to come forward to resolve the land dispute through dialogue and added that he is ready to give credit for it to the Opposition in the state. Meanwhile, NCP leader and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said party chief Sharad Pawar is likely to intervene in the matter to resolve it.
“Unfortunately, the Union government’s salt commissioner went to the court against us. Why create hindrances? The state government has given prime and costliest plot at the Bandra Kurla Complex for the bullet train project… For the Union government projects, land is being given without creating any hindrances. Even if the land (Kanjurmarg) belongs to the Centre, the issue can be resolved. The Centre and state can sit together and resolve the dispute,” said Thackeray Sunday.
Thackeray’s statement comes days after the Bombay High Court, in a petition filed by the Centre through Deputy Salt Commissioner (Mumbai), stayed the allotment of land in Kanjurmarg for the proposed Metro car shed and ordered to stop all construction activities at the site. The ruling came as a setback to the Thackeray government. Trading of barbs between the Shiv Sena and BJP followed.
“If the Prime Minister calls himself Pradhan Sevak, then we are also people’s Sevak. If we want to do something in the interest of the people but make it a prestige issue, then we don’t deserve to sit in this chair. So, the dispute over Kanjurmarg land is not in the interest of the state and its people. It would be narrow-mindedness if we start obstructing projects taken up by each other. I want to urge the Opposition that I am ready to give you credit for resolving the Kanjurmarg land dispute. It is not an issue of my ego and should not be that of yours,” Thackeray added.
Malik said on Sunday that NCP chief Sharad Pawar is likely to intervene in the matter to resolve the issue. “Thackeray and Pawar discussed the car shed dispute on Sunday morning. Pawar said a way has to be found and the CM has also spoken about it today. If required, Pawar may discuss the issue with the PM in the next few days,” said Malik.
Following the stay by the High Court, the BJP had targeted Thackeray alleging that he was being “arrogant” and has made it an “ego issue” to shift the car shed out of Aarey, its earlier location. “I am arrogant for the interests of Mumbaikars and Maharashtra,” said Thackeray.
On October 11, Thackeray had announced the scrapping of the ongoing car shed at Aarey Milk Colony saying that it would instead come up on the land at Kanjurmag.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines