Fadnavis under fire over development panel

Fadnavis under fire over development panel

Under fire from the Congress and NCP and its own ally, the Shiv Sena, for suggesting a high-level committee under prime minister for Mumbai’s development, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday urged political parties to refrain from politicising the issue.

At a meeting of CMs with Modi in New Delhi on Sunday, Fadnavis had proposed setting up of a committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for turning Mumbai into a global commercial hub.

The Shiv Sena, which is now part of the BJP-led government, sought to target Fadnavis through editorials in “Saamana” and “Dophar ka Saamana”, the Marathi and Hindi mouthpieces of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. It may be recalled that last month, the Sena had targeted the chief minister for his reported plans to appoint a CEO for Mumbai.

“The Shiv Sena believes that Mumbai will not be separated from Maharashtra and the control of the city will only lie with the state government,” the Shiv Sena said.

Fadnavis reacted to the criticism at the winter session of Maharashtra Assembly underway in Nagpur: “It is a political controversy ignited by certain people. When it comes to Mumbai’s development, we should not do politics. Those who are politicising the issue are playing with Mumbai’s development. Can they not run the state or work on Mumbai’s development?” questioned Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre.

Congress Legislature Party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said: “It only proves the weakness of the state government. There is no need for a committee under the prime minister for Mumbai’s development.”

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Fadnavis’ move is an attempt to create a Delhi-like situation and break Mumbai away from Maharashtra.

Fadnavis, however, said, “Whenever we start a new project, it needs to be first sent to Delhi...If I am requesting the prime minister to fast-track Mumbai's projects, there is no scope for a controversy.”

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