Under fire over Maharashtra losing big-ticket projects, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis hit out at the opposition for peddling a “fake narrative” on the issue. Addressing a press briefing on Monday, he thanked the Centre for approving an Electronics Manufacturing Cluster project worth around Rs.500 crore in Ranjangaon, Pune. While the opposition accused the government of failing to protect the state’s interest after projects such as the Vedanta-Foxconn chip plant deal, a Bulk Drug Park, a Medical Device Park, and the Tata-Airbus facility, Fadnavis squarely blamed the erstwhile government for the same.
Devendra Fadnavis asserted, “During the two and a half years of MVA government, horrendous things such as corruption, the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner going to jail and extortion happened. As a result, no one was ready to come to Maharashtra. No one wanted to invest in Maharashtra. We are trying to pull back Maharashtra from this disheveled state. In the last Cabinet sub-committee meeting itself, we approved proposals of investment worth Rs.25,000 crore.”
Making key revelations about the Tata-Airbus project, he stated, “When talks commenced between Tata and Airbus in 2016 when even the MoU hadn’t been signed, I went to Tata then and told them to bring the project to Nagpur. I followed it up from that day till 2019. Till then, both Gujarat and Maharashtra were in contention. I showed the site in Nagpur to their team and promised to give more than what Gujarat is offering them. When I realised that it is changing the decision after the MVA government came to power, I met the head of this project on April 24, 2021.”
“I urged him not to go to Gujarat and expressed willingness to go to the CM as a senior leader to resolve his problems. At that time, his words were- ‘The situation here is not conducive for investment’. After I insisted, he said that he will think about it and talk to the board. I contracted the then MIDC CEO that you tell the CM and the Industries Minister that they are going away. They should be stopped. But no action was taken and no letter was sent. Later, the MoU was signed and the decision to shift the project during Uddhav Thackeray’s tenure,” he added.
‘Conspiracy by MVA’
On this occasion, Fadnavis promised that the BJP-Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena government will make Maharashtra the no.1 state in the next two years. Mentioning that the government is removing bottlenecks, he assured that the state will rank no.1 in investment once again. Hitting out at the opposition, he alleged, “Due to the atmosphere being created, industrialists are turning away from Maharashtra. I suspect that this is a conspiracy by MVA to confuse the investors coming to Maharashtra and ensure that Maharashtra remains deprived of investment”.