Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Sunday, slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Kangana Ranaut without naming them directly for running a campaign to discredit and defame Maharashtra. However, he said, despite this, the state continued to be the favoured investment destination and attracted Rs 51,000 crore investments during the present coronavirus pandemic in various sectors, including data centre, logistics and electronics.
“The state has retained its pre-eminence in attracting investments despite the haters indulged in discrediting it. In June, the state government signed MoUs for investment worth Rs 16,000 crore. And, over the last week, it signed MoUs for investment worth Rs 35,000 crore,” said Thackeray reiterating that investors’ sentiments were not impacted despite the campaign to tarnish the state's image.
The Shiv Sena chief, in his web address to the people of Maharashtra, also led a scathing attack on BJP for attacking the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on its decision to transfer the Metro 3 carshed to Kanjurmarg from Aarey Colony. He said that the land belongs to the state government and it has been handed over free of cost to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the proposed carshed development. “I have answers to counter (BJP’s) criticism. The government is committed to continue infrastructure development in the city. So don’t be obstructionist,’’ he added.
The CM thanked Union Railway Minister and BJP leader Piyush Goyal for helping the state government, especially for giving a nod to increase the frequency with additional train services in Mumbai. Although Thackeray did not give any indication of starting of local trains at full scale, he said the government has been in talks with the central government in this regard.
As reported by the Free Press Journal recently, Thackeray said the government has no plan to ban firecrackers for Diwali. However, he urged the people not to burst crackers in public places and said that self-restraint is important instead of the government imposing a ban. “There is a possibility of the occurrence of a second wave of COVID-19. It should not come. However, I appeal to you to burst environment-friendly firecrackers that will not harm others. Like other festivals, celebrate Diwali with simplicity,” he noted.
While referring to the spike in cases in the national capital, Thackeray said, “Cases in Delhi have increased because of pollution that weakens the respiratory system. We could have banned firecrackers, but we are not doing that. You have always listened to me and I know you will continue to do that. Celebrate Diwali. Light lamps but avoid firecrackers.”
Thackeray warned that those not wearing masks will be fined. “Doctors have said that one infected person without a mask can infect 400 others,” he added. “Whatever we have achieved (in controlling COVID-19) will go away in four days due to the pollution caused by firecrackers,” Thackeray said.
He said that temples and other places of worship in Maharashtra, closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen soon. “SOPs to minimise transmission of the virus could be released after Diwali. Further, schools will resume (for Classes 9 to Class 12) after Diwali with safety protocols already in place for this,” he noted.
“People are criticising me. I'm ready to face it. I'm cautious for senior citizens,” said Thackeray.