At a time when he faces multiple challenges, especially in view of the uneasy alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be the guest at the Express Adda in the Capital on Friday.
Fadnavis, who will complete a year in office at the end of this month, has been pushing hard to retain the state’s top position on industrial investment, by aggressively wooing overseas investors and spearheading a water conservation project to boost the state’s irrigation potential.
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In the face of competition from states like Karnataka and Gujarat, he managed to persuade global majors like Foxconn to commit to invest $5 billion in Maharashtra, besides getting investment commitments from General Motors and Ford.
There have been challenges.
The Shiv Sena has constantly criticised the government, and its shows of intolerance have tested his government’s resolve — as in the latest incident involving the book launch of Pakistan’s former foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. The state also experienced one of its worst droughts in the last one year, marked by severe water shortages in the Marathwada region.
Fadnavis was Nagpur’s youngest mayor and, at 44, became Maharashtra’s second youngest chief minister. Considered a favourite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his clean image, particularly at a time when the Congress-NCP rule had riled the Marathi voter, catapulted him to the chief minister’s post.
Fadnavis, who has a law degree and is a post-graduate in business management, has an ambitious governance agenda. He is taking the lead in easing rules to make it easier to set up business units, pushing through reforms in land, digitial governance, and promoting smart cities.