Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane addressing mediapersons in Mumbai on Wednesday
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane addressing mediapersons in Mumbai on Wednesday

Mumbai : Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane accused the Modi government of trying to demean Mumbai by relocating important institutions in and around Mumbai to other locations in the country.

“The Modi government is bent on demeaning Mumbai. As a part of their efforts on this front they have shifted three important departments of Reserve bank of India (RBI) to Delhi. The new government has also decided to shift the container transport division of the JNPT to the Mundra port in Gujarat,” State Industries Minister and chairman of the campaign committee of the Congress, said here at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Morarji Desai tried to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra. But, 105 martyrs kept Maharashtra united along with Mumbai. The new government at Delhi is following footsteps of Desai. People of Maharashtra need to identify this and oppose every such effort,” Rane said.

“Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari declared that JNPT will henceforth handle only liquids and all the container load will be shifted to Mundra. This decision will free 1800 acre of land worth Rs. 75, 000 crore. The Centre plans to sell off this land to an industrial house close to BJP,” Rane said.

The proposal to shift container load to Mundra, which had been raised several times in the past, had been strongly opposed by all political parties in Maharashtra, pointed out Rane.

Rane also said that with the kind of policies the Centre is following, Mumbai’s importance will diminish. “This will force many businesses to close down their offices in Mumbai increasing the unemployment in the region,” he added.

Rane also pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping started his visit to India from Ahmadabad and did not visit Mumbai.

“Modi came to power with the help of blatant lies. Now the lies are getting exposed. Inflation has not receded; onion and pomegranate farmers are suffering because of wrong policies. We shall highlight all such points during the party campaign,” Rane said.

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‘High command discussing NCP’s demand’

While making clear that there would be no more meetings with NCP leaders on seat-sharing, Rane also said that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was in discussion with the party high command over NCP’s demand for rotational chief ministership and a decision on the alliance would be taken soon.

Reiterating that Congress was prepared to spare 124 seats for NCP, he said, “If the alliance does not materialise, we are ready to contest all the 288 seats. But Congress is in favour of continuing the alliance.”

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