Uddhav Thackeray: Bullet train still on, only Aarey shed axed

The CM had called a meeting of top state officials at Mantralaya here on Tuesday to discuss development projects.

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday clarified that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project would be carried out without any hassles. The Shiv Sena chief, in fact, said no stay was ordered on any development project, barring the Metro car shed at Aarey Colony in suburban Goregaon.

The CM had called a meeting of top state officials at Mantralaya here on Tuesday to discuss development projects. The meeting assumed significance in the light of reports that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had decided to review the bullet train, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the meeting, Mr Thackeray said: “There is no stay on any project, barring the car shed, nor has any project been scrapped. A discussion was held on how to expedite development projects in the state. We also discussed the implementation of other projects that we want to
carry out ourselves,” he said.

Mr Thackeray’s assertion has put to rest speculation that the government would shelve mega-projects due to a staggering Rs 6.71 lakh crore debt burden. “We are now reviewing what projects are critical for the development of the state and whether others such as the bullet train project can be postponed to a later stage,” senior minister Jayant Patil had said. The new government made it clear that its priority was to offer a total loan waiver to farmers hit by recent unseasonal rainfall and flooding in various parts of the state.

PTI adds: NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, in his second big disclosure in two days, said on Tuesday that he was aware that party leader Ajit Pawar was in touch with Devendra Fadnavis even as he distanced himself from his nephew’s sudden political move to join hands with the BJP on November 23. Mr Pawar had on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed “working together” but he rejected the offer.

“I knew Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were in talks, but the speculation that I was aware of Ajit’s political move is wrong,” Mr Pawar told NDTV in an interview. Mr Pawar, however, appeared softening his stand vis-a-vis Ajit, saying the latter was unhappy over the pace of discussions with Congress leaders on government formation and the “tussle” for sharing power.

The NCP chief also said he had never thought of aligning with the Sena, which wears Hindutva on its sleeve. “We knew that serious differences cropped up between the two pre-poll alliance partners (Shiv Sena and BJP) after the Maharashtra poll results (on October 24) and an understanding was not honoured. The Sena was unhappy and we were watching the developments,” he said. Mr Pawar, however, didn’t clarify on which “understanding” he was referring to.

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