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On shifting Vedanta-Foxconn project, Vedanta’s Agarwal says ‘independent choice’; Fadnavis tweets back

Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis also lashed out at Opposition parties for their reaction over the relocation of the Rs 1.50 lakh crore semiconductor and fabrication plant to Gujarat.

Devendra Fadnavis, PuneDevendra Fadnavis also added that youth must become valuable Human Resources and be a part of the country's economic growth. (file)

Facing massive Opposition criticism after Vedanta-Foxconn’s decision to shift a multi-million dollar project to Gujarat, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday welcomed Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal’s tweet saying they are “committed to investing” in the state.

The Maharashtra deputy CM also lashed out at Opposition parties for their reaction over the relocation of the Rs 1.50 lakh crore semiconductor and fabrication plant to Gujarat.

Fadnavis’ post on Twitter came after Vedanta’s Anil Agrawal in a series of tweets, said they “have to start in one place & based on professional & independent advice we chose Gujarat”.

“This multi billion dollar long term investment will change the course of Indian electronics. We will create a pan Indian ecosystem and are fully committed to investing in Maharashtra as well. Maharashtra will be our key to forward integration in our Gujarat,” said Agarwal.

Tagging Agarwal’s post, Fadnavis, who is in Russia, tweeted, “It is disappointing that negative, false & baseless claims are being spread to gain political mileage. This is only to hide their own incompetence. I want to ask opposition leaders, who sent back ₹3.5 lakh crore refinery from Maharashtra?” “My advice to these leaders is to focus on becoming competent & efficient and not negative & desperate.”

Devendra Fadnavis was referring to the proposed refinery project at the Nanar village in the state’s Ratnagiri district to counter the Opposition attack.

In 2015-16, Fadnavis had taken initiative to get Asia’s first green refinery project to Maharashtra. The project promised investment of Rs 3 lakh crore and employment to one lakh people. It was to be a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco.

However, the Shiv Sena, which was then an alliance partner of the BJP in the coalition government between 2014 to 2019, opposed the project in the coastal Konkan region. As a result, the process of land acquisition for the world’s largest single-complex refinery project was stopped and the project was scuttled.

Now, the Eknath Shinde and Fadnavis government, which returned to power in June 2022, is once again trying to revive the project. Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant even held meetings with stakeholders last month.

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According to a BJP source, “Shinde and Fadnavis are set to aggressively push the refinery project. It will help them to showcase the Rs 3 lakh crore investment and one lakh job.”

BJP leaders said it will also help the state government to diffuse the Opposition attack over the Vedanta-Foxconn project’s shift to Gujarat.

Leaders of the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena have made a scathing attack on the state government for letting the important investment and employment-oriented project slip away to the neighbouring state of Gujarat.

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The opposition leader Ajit Pawar said, “The project relocation to Gujarat was out of political pressure. Ahead of Gujarat assembly polls, BJP leaders seem to have taken a decision thus depriving Maharashtra its investment and employment share.”

Stung by the opposition charge over the project, state leaders said they took up the matter with Vedanta-Foxconn. A highly-placed source in the BJP said, “The relocation of the project to Gujarat was a big setback to the state. And top leadership had to find a way out to recover some lost ground.”

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Wednesday he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was assured that the Centre would help bring “big projects” to the state.

First published on: 15-09-2022 at 11:28:38 am
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