A few days ago, Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray had taken to Twitter stating that efforts to save a 400 year old Banyan tree in the Sangli district had proven successful.
"The 400 year old banyan tree in Sangli district that we saved with a letter to @NHAI_Official . One can see the highway close to the tree. That, now will be realigned to save the tree. The tree is a keeper of legends, folklore and memories of many who played there as children," he had tweeted.
Days later however, BJP leader Priti Gandhi took to Twitter lauding Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari for his successful efforts to save the tree.
"400 year old tree was blocking the construction of the new Nagpur-Ratnagiri highway. They had to change the course of the highway because he refused permission to cut the tree! That's @nitin_gadkari ji for you!!" she tweeted on Monday.
And while this is a tad confusing, both are in a way correct.
Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray had written a letter to the National Highways Authority of India urging that the tree be spared. Following that, a team from the National Highway Authority of India had visited the site and decided to change the road alignment so that the tree wouldn't have to be cut.
The Free Press Journal broke the story at the beginning of last week.
While the NHAI is an autonomous body, it is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that Gadkari heads. And as Priti Gandhi puts it, the Union Minister had refused permission to cut the tree.