Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday slammed the opposition parties in Maharashtra for “shedding crocodile tears” over shifting of a Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant to Gujarat from the state, and accused them of creating hurdles for five big-ticket projects during their rule.
She was addressing a press conference near Pune on the sidelines of a programme. A blame-game has started in Maharashtra following the announcement last week that the joint venture semiconductor project of Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, proposed to be set up near Pune city earlier, will come up in Gujarat. The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena have been targeting the Centre and the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government over the issue, saying that the Rs 1.54 lakh crore plant has been handed over to Gujarat ignoring the economic interest of the state where it was originally planned.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government formed by these three parties collapsed on June 29 this year, days after Eknath Shinde rebelled against the Sena leadership.
Asked about the oppositions criticism over the project shifting to Gujarat, Sitharaman said the current opposition means those who were in power in the state till four months back.
“Who were the people who stopped the bullet train project in Maharashtra; who were the people who stopped a Rs 65,000 crore Wadhvan project in Palghar district; who stopped the Nanar refinery project and who created hurdles for the Metro car shed project in Mumbais Aarey Colony,” she said. Were these projects not beneficial for Maharashtra, the minister asked. “Were all these projects benefitting Gujarat? When you were in power, you stopped not one or two projects, but created hurdles for five projects. Now you are shedding crocodile tears in the name of Maharashtras interest and saying anything for politics,” she said.
Asked about her tour of the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, the home turf of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Sitharaman said that she has come to the constituency to strengthen the partys base and not for any family.
As part of her tour, Sitharaman interacted with beneficiaries of various schemes of the Centre.
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