After four years of acrimony with alliance partner BJP, life seems to have come a full circle for the Shiv Sena, which has reverted to a pro-Modi rhetoric as it gears up for the big battle on its home turf in Mumbai — six Lok Sabha constituencies in the city will go to polls on April 29.
According to sources, there is a clamour among the Sena candidates for public rallies by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. BJP insiders said that Fadnavis is likely to hold at least 20 to 25 public rallies across Mumbai and its suburbs in the next few days.
The Sena leaders have also pinned their hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally to help them shake off anti-incumbency.
Referring to Sena’s growing dependence on “Moditva”, Fadnavis said, “I am happy.”
Refusing to dwell on the “unpleasant” past and Sena’s apparent transformation from “anti-Modi” to “pro-Modi”, the chief minister said, “The Shiv Sena and BJP are the alliance partner. Our association goes back to several decades. The Sena-BJP leadership and cadre are working together for every seat. I am campaigning for every candidate of the BJP and Sena. Similarly, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is also campaigning extensively.”
“Almost all the mega projects, which were put on back-burner during the previous Congress-NCP regime, have been translated into reality. They are in various phases or stages of progress. Whether it is the Metro, Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, Navi Mumbai Airport, Dharavi redevelopment plan or the coastal road project… Almost Rs 2 lakh crore projects have been rolled in last four and half years,” Fadnavis said.
Referring to the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Mumbai, chief minister said, “The IFSC is our commitment. There have been some delay because we wanted to integrate it with the process initiated for the Bullet train.” He also pointed out that apprehensions about the Bullet train affecting the IFSC were “unfounded and misleading”.
The chief minister also asserted that GIFT city, which had come up in Gujarat, would not have an adverse impact on IFSC Mumbai.