Amid intense politics over his visit to Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said that his government was not taking away investments from or obstructing development of any other state.
Taking on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Adityanath said, “I’m not here to snatch anything away, why are you so worried?”
In Mumbai for the listing of Lucknow Municipal Corporation’s Rs 200-crore bond at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Adityanath held a series of meetings with top business honchos, financial companies and Bollywood personalities to attract investments in UP.
But his visit had turned into a slamming match between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra and the UP government, with Thackeray himself taking a dig at Adityanath. Hours before Adityanath landed in Mumbai on Tuesday, Thackeray warned that “no one can come to Maharashtra and take away industries from here”.
Speaking at an event organised by the Indian Merchants Chambers on Tuesday, Thackeray said, “Maharashtra is not afraid of competition but it should be a fair one. No one can forcibly take businesses away from the state. That will not be allowed.”
In reference to Adityanath’s visit to Mumbai, he added, “Maharashtra’s culture and institutions are its strength. Some people are coming today, they will also meet you all and ask you to come to them. But the magnetic strength of Maharashtra is so powerful that it will stop things from going from here.”
Echoing Thackeray, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday: “Is Yogi going to go to all states that produce films or is he singling out Maharashtra?”
He was speaking to mediapersons on the BJP chief minister’s plan to meet top Bollywood personalities to take forward the UP government’s ambitious plan of setting up a “world class” film city across a 1,000-acre sprawl in Sector 21 of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), close to the upcoming Jewar airport on Yamuna Expressway.
“It is not easy to shift Mumbai’s film city to any other place. It is okay to make a big project. But what happened to the film city that was set up in Noida a few years ago? Will he share the status of that film city? The film industry in south India is also big and there are film cities in West Bengal and Punjab too. Will Yogiji also visit these places to interact with producers and actors? Or does he have a problem with Mumbai only?” Raut added.
In a sharp riposte to Thackeray and the government, Adityanath said, “How can anyone take anything away? We have neither come here to snatch somebody’s investments nor to impede someone’s development. This is not pick and choose. Is the (Mumbai) film industry a purse that one can just take away?”
He added, “Mumbai film industry will continue to remain in Mumbai. We are building a new world class film city in our state. We held discussions with several producers, directors, actors and other experts related to the film industry today. The discussions were very positive.”
Adityanath held discussions with prominent film personalities, including Boney Kapoor, Anand Pandit, Arjun Rampal, Satish Kaushik and Pahlaj Nihalani among others on the various aspects about the operability of the project. He had met Akshay Kumar on Tuesday night.
Besides film celebrities, the UP CM also held meetings with top business heads, including N Chandrasekaran, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Sanjay Nayar, Suprakash Chaudhari, S N Subrahmanyan and Baba Kalyani. He held a separate meeting with members of the UP-Development Forum in Mumbai.
While maintaining that he was not here to lure investments away from the state, Adityanath, however, didn’t miss the opportunity to signal that he was eyeing Maharashtra’s status as the country’s number one investment destination.
Highlighting various measures taken by his government to improve the investment climate in UP, Adityanath said he was targeting to make his state a 1 trillion dollar economy by 2025 – a target that Maharashtra has also set for itself.
“There is open competition. The ones who provides better social security, law and order, stable government and a healthy investment climate will attract more investments,” he said. The UP government is using ‘Leading by Example’ as the tagline to woo investors.
Before returning to UP, Adityanath took one more veiled dig at Thackeray. “All of us are contributing to the nation’s development. One must show a big heart and develop better facilities,” he said.
NCP leader Vidya Chavan held a “Yogi go back” placards outside Hotel Trident when Adityanath was meeting investors, but the police didn’t permit her protest. The MNS also put up posters outside the hotel calling Adityanath a “thug.”
On Tuesday, Congress’ Sachin Sawant had termed Adityanath’s visit as a ploy to forcibly drive investment away from Maharashtra, while also questioning the “poor law and order” situation in UP.
Yogi Adityanath at BSE
Mumbai: Lucknow on Wednesday became the ninth Indian city to have raised municipal bonds and the first city from north India to do so. “This is a historic moment for Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is the first city from north India to be listed at the BSE. It is a revolutionary step that will usher in urban reforms,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.
He presided over the ringing bells ceremony for the bond’s listing on Wednesday morning. The funds raised through the bond will be invested in various infrastructure schemes in Lucknow, a government spokesman said. – Express News Service
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