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Opposition up in arms after yet another project shifts to Gujarat

Last month, a political firestorm erupted in Maharashtra after a joint venture of Vedanta and Foxconn, which had held talks with the state to set up its new semiconductor plant, signed a pact with the Gujarat government to locate its project there.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction) leaders Aaditya Thackeray and Priyanka Chaturvedi.

The announcement that Tata-Airbus C-295 transport aircraft project will come up at Vadodara in Gujarat set off a political war of words in Maharashtra on Thursday with the Opposition blaming the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government of allowing yet another project to head to the neighbouring state.

“Another project! I have voiced this since July, asking Khoke Sarkar to try for it (Tata Airbus). I wonder why every project is going to other states in the last 3 months. Loss of faith in khoke sarkar is evident on industry level. Will the industry minister resign after losing 4 projects?,” MLA Aaditya Thackeray tweeted.

The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) also said that Industry Minister Uday Samant should resign.

In September this year, Shinde loyalist Samant had said that the Tata-Airbus aircraft manufacturing project would come up near Nagpur in Vidarbha. Speaking to mediapersons at Shirur tehsil in Pune district, Aaditya asked, “Will the state government give answers to why these projects are going out? This is the fourth project that has gone away from Maharashtra since the traitor government has come to power. They always boast that they have a double-engine government, but although one engine of the central government is working, the state government’s engine has failed.”

Priyanka Chaturvedi, MP and spokesperson of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, said, “Vedanta-Foxconn, medical device park, bulk drugs park and now the Tata-Airbus project… All have gone out of Maharashtra… Thanks to the 50 ‘Khoke sarkar’… they were busy counting 50 Khoke & doing ‘ji hazoori’ in the Delhi Darbar. Maharashtra continues to suffer at the expense of their cheap politics. Shame on them.”

The NCP also blamed Shinde for “bowing in front of his political masters (BJP)”. “After Vedanta-Foxconn, now Tata-Airbus project has gone to Gujarat due to the sheer incompetence of Eknath Shinde, as he repeatedly fails to retain investment and projects in Maharashtra,” NCP leader Mahesh Tapase told mediapersons. He added, “Shinde is busy safeguarding his post of Chief Minister even as Gujarat continues its surgical strike on Maharashtra.After the exit of Vedanta-Foxconn, Shinde clearly said that the Tata-Airbus project will come up in Nagpur. Today, his lie stands exposed.”

Tapase demanded that taking a cue from former British PM Liz Truss, Shinde should immediately resign as CM for not being able to uphold the interests of Maharashtra.

Samant, however, blamed the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government for losing the project. “The Opposition is trying to create confusion in the minds of the youths. A memorandum of understanding between the central government and the companies was signed on September 21, 2021 (when the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA was in power). Then around one year ago, it was decided by the company that the project will go to Gujarat. I had said once that we are trying to bring that project to Maharashtra. But it had already gone to Gujarat and we were making an attempt to bring it here,” he added.

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“…The project had gone to Gujarat a year ago and the earlier government did not make any effort to bring it back,” Samant claimed.

First published on: 27-10-2022 at 22:43 IST
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