Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday took swipes at the BJP and Union government over issues such as GST compensation and pending clearances for the state’s projects while inaugurating two new Metro rail lines here. Thackeray inaugurated Lines 2-A and 7 of Mumbai Metro, which connects the western suburbs of Andheri and Dahisar.
“There are some people who feel I am taking away their credit for Metro. I am ready to give the credit. If you love Mumbai, why is the state government’s proposal to build a car shed for Metro-3 at Kanjurmarg is put on hold? The Indian Railways is not giving its land for the redevelopment of Dharavi slums,” the chief minister said, without naming the BJP.”We are demanding land for a pumping station in Mumbai, but it is being denied to us. I inaugurated the GST Bhawan today. Maharashtra generates the highest amount of GST in the country, but our dues are not cleared on time. We are not begging, we are demanding our share of taxes, and it is being perpetually denied,” he said.
The ongoing Metro rail projects in Mumbai, Nagpur, and Pune were announced and began between 2014-19 when a coalition of the BJP and Thackeray-led Shiv Sena was in power. After the 2019 elections, the Sena joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form the new Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in the state. He also said that people had seen “how trees were chopped down in Aarey Colony at midnight.” “I do not want to do any development at the cost of the environment,” Thackeray added. The previous BJP-led government’s decision to set up the car shed for Mumbai Metro Line 3 in the wooded Aarey area had faced opposition from environmental groups as it entailed cutting down hundreds of trees. The Thackery government later shifted the site to Kanjurmarg, but it is embroiled in a legal dispute.
“There is a new epidemic in Maharashtra. They (BJP) say that you have done nothing, or whatever is done is our (the BJP’s) credit. Even if we do something, they will cry foul over corruption without substantiating the allegations,” Thackeray further said. There is no need to pay attention to such people as it is difficult to find a “remedy” for their “symptoms”, he added.
The chief minister, who underwent spinal surgery last year and faced jibes from the BJP for operating from home for several weeks, noted that “out of four events today, I attended two here personally, and both were related to the departments held by the Shiv Sena.” “I attended the other two functions online, and both were related to the NCP. Some people might misinterpret it as all is not well within the MVA. I assure you that we are moving on the right track,” said the chief minister.