Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Maharashtra unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Sunday took a dig at former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying that if the MLAs of his own party can abandon him, then why industrial projects cannot move out of the state.
Bawankule, who was on a tour of the Sangli district where he met party office-bearers and local leaders, was speaking to reporters.
His remarks come in the wake of the Eknath Shinde-led state government coming under the Opposition's fire for losing big-ticket projects to BJP-ruled Gujarat, including Rs 1.5 lakh crore Foxconn-Vedanta semiconductor manufacturing project and Rs 22,000 crore aircraft manufacturing project where the Tata Group has tied up with Airbus.
Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, in which the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress shared power with the Shiv Sena, collapsed on June 29 following an intra-party revolt by Eknath Shinde and 39 other MLAs of the Sena.
Shinde took oath as the chief minister on June 30 after the group of rebel MLAs led by him formed a government by joining hands with the BJP.
Bawankule said, "If Uddhav Thackeray's MLAs can abandon him, then why industries cannot move out of Maharashtra? But the blame for such decisions is put on the new government headed by Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis."
Thackeray spent his entire tenure as the chief minister managing the NCP and the Congress. He was not concerned whether any industry comes to Maharashtra or not, he alleged.
"If you want to bring in large-scale industrial investment into the state, then the chief minister needs to be available. The previous CM (Thackeray) did not even visit the Mantralaya (state secretariat in Mumbai) for 18 months and senior officials had to wait for his appointment," Bawankule, a former state minister, said.