Opposition leaders in Maharashtra on Thursday accused the Eknath Shinde-led government of being incompetent after the Centre announced that European aviation major Airbus and India’s Tata group will make the C-295 transport aircraft in Gujarat, despite the ruling coalition’s attempt to house the joint venture in Nagpur.
In September, Indian mining conglomerate Vedanta and Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturing company, also chose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat to set up its multi-billion semiconductor plant even though talks for establishing the unit in Pune were reportedly in the final stages.
A few days later, Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant had claimed his state would secure the Tata-Airbus project.
Modi will lay the foundation stone of the new aircraft manufacturing project in Vadodara on Sunday. The project, valued at Rs 21,935 crore, involves the supply of 56 C-295 transport planes for the Indian Air Force.
Soon after the defence ministry’s announcement, former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday alleged that the Shinde government is not worried about the state’s progress, PTI reported.
“Will the state government give answers to why these projects are going out?” he asked. “This is the fourth project which has gone away from Maharashtra since the traitor government has come to power in the state. They always boast that they have a double-engine government, but although one engine of the central government is working, the state government’s engine has failed.”
He added that the previous three-member Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government headed by his father Uddhav Thackeray had managed to bring investment to Maharashtra even during the coronavirus pandemic, but the one led by Shinde has repeatedly lost big projects with the potential for massive employment generation in the state.
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson blamed the “sheer incompetence” of Shinde for the loss of Tata-Airbus project to Gujarat after Vedanta-Foxconn one.
“Shinde is busy safeguarding his post of the chief minister even as Gujarat continues its surgical strike on Maharashtra,” he wrote in a series of tweets. “Taking a cue from [former United Kingdom Prime Minister] Liz Truss, Shinde should immediately resign as CM for not being able to uphold the state’s interest.”
Priyanka Chaturvedi, MP and spokesperson of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, said Maharashtra is suffering at the expense of Shinde government’s “cheap politics”.
However, BJP legislator Praveen Darekar claimed the Tata-Airbus deal was signed a year ago when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power.
“The previous government did not do anything on it, including no correspondence with the Union government to facilitate this project in the state,” he told PTI. “The Opposition should not make such baseless allegations.”