On the day when the monsoon session of the parliament started, Shiv Sena Member of the Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut alleged that Mumbai and Maharashtra are being discredited with a well-planned campaign and efforts are underway to reduce the city’s importance as the country's financial and commercial capital. He slammed the central government for shifting key installations out of Mumbai and also not providing substantial help to the state government to tackle the financial stress caused due to COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdown and economic downturn.
"Mumbai's importance is being reduced. Maharashtra and Mumbai Police are being discredited. Mumbai's economic power is being diminished. Major institutions in Mumbai are being shifted to other states. Till Shiv Sena is there, Mumbai continues to be part of Maharashtra,” said Raut who was hogging headlines in a war of words with Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut.
Raut said, at present, there are a couple of issues faced by Maharashtra. The COVID-19 pandemic is world over, but it is serious in the state. It is not going to end for at least a year. “Because of the pandemic, lockdown and economic slowdown, the state’s financial condition has deteriorated. However, the central government is not ready to provide much needed assistance. People have lost jobs, which will give rise to further chaos and result in a major law and order problem,” noted Raut.
Shiv Sena MP reiterated that Mumbai was not separated from Maharashtra only because of Shiv Sena. “Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra because we are all together. For the last few years, major institutions in Mumbai are being shifted out of the state to reduce the city’s importance at the global level,” he opined.
Talking about Kangana Ranaut likening Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action to demolish her office over illegal alterations, Raut said it is like living in Mumbai, defaming the city, disrespecting the Chief Minister and still continuing to reside in illegal palaces. “BMC is an autonomous body and it has certain powers. If the civic body has carried out some action against unauthorised construction, it should be welcomed,” he added.
On the Maratha reservation issue, Raut said the state government is working hard so that the interim stay granted by the apex court is vacated and the Maratha community will continue to get benefits of reservation. “CM Uddhav Thackeray is personally looking into the issue. There is a cabinet sub-committee that is exploring all options. At this moment, I will only say that the state government is doing everything possible,” he viewed.