Mumbai’s prime real estate given away for Bullet Train, alleges Thackeray

The Sena-UBT chief attacked the state government for its series of advertisements splurging public money and said that no government in the state had resorted to so much publicity.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena-UBT President and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday accused the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance of handing over prime real estate, “worth like gold”, in the Bandra Kurla Complex for the Bullet Train project.

He said that when the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was in power, they had halted the BKC land for the Bullet Train terminus, but as soon as the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis came to power (June 2022), they gave it away.

“How many of you are going to travel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in the Bullet Train daily? How many will come from Gujarat to Maharashtra in that train…? Yet, the land of Mumbai valued like gold was given away for the project… Nobody knows how many ‘khokhas’ (slang for crores of rupees) exchanged hands?” thundered Thackeray.

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He was addressing the MVA’s third massive rally at the BKC Grounds in the presence of the top leaders of the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena-UBT, as a curtain-raiser for the upcoming civic polls and next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

These included Nana Patole, Jayant Patil, Bhai Jagtap, Ajit Pawar, Ambadas Danve, Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan, Sushma Andhare, Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Chhagan Bhujbal, Naseem Khan, Subhash Desai, Aslam Shaikh, Sunil Kedar, besides Thackeray’s family members, wife Rashmi and their sons Aditya and Tejas.

Thackeray said that similar was the case with the Mumbai Metro carshed which the MVA did not allow in Aarey Colony for the city’s environmental concerns and proposed the Kanjurmarg site which could help the Metro railway expansion to distance places in Thane-Raigad.

“However, the minute they came to power they reversed the decision.. Even the Central government which had blocked our proposal for the Kanjurmarg land in the court, suddenly gave up their claims. But now, after the Aarey Colony, they were compelled to seek even the Kanjurmarg land (15 hectares) for the project… In the process, Mumbai is the loser,” the ex-CM pointed out.

The Sena-UBT chief attacked the state government for its series of advertisements splurging public money and said that no government in the state had resorted to so much publicity.

“This is not your money. It is the taxpayers’ money that is being blown off to hide your shortcomings. If you want to advertise, use the BJP’s 2014 election campaign against inflation, unemployment, etc… it will be valid today,” declared Thackeray, targeting Shinde-Fadnavis.

Touching upon the agitation against the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicls Ltd (RPPL) project, the ex-CM said that he had suggested the land around Barsu in Rajapur taluka) for the mega-venture with Arab collaboration.

“Nowhere did I say in my letter that the people should be oppressed in the name of the project without their consent. What is the government doing now? I will go to Barsu on Saturday and speak with the villagers. If they don’t want the project we are with them,” said Thackeray.

Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that “he (Modi) said Congress abused him 91 times – but what about the abuses that your people give to my family… we shall also give you a fitting reply,” and wondreed where is the culture that is taught at the BJP’s Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in Thane.

He warned that the BJP will not escape the “curse” of the tribal victims of Palghar or those who lost their lives in Navi Mumbai last month in the scorching heat, and called upon the people to vote out the saffron party in the civic, Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to save the country.

Patil, Dr. Awhad, Patole, Chavan, Aditya Thackeray, Jagtap, and other leaders also made fiery speeches, how central agencies are let loose against the Opposition parties and leaders, and predicted the downfall of the BJP government starting from the Karnataka elections next week.

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