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Thackeray lashes out at Shinde for ‘letting out’ Vedanta’s plant to Gujarat

Multinational mining company Vedanta Limited’s move to set up its $20 billion (approx ₹1.54 lakh crore) Vendanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant in Gujarat had caused uproar in Maharashtra, with Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray and other Opposition leaders lashing out at their former colleague and now Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for sending away the investment from the State.

Mr. Thackeray claimed that the former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had brought and finalised the deal for the State. However, the Shinde-Fadnavis government let it go to Gujarat, which caused not only a loss of a $20 billion semiconductor project to the State but also 170 allied industries and about 1 lakh jobs.

Sharing the screenshots of Vedanta Limited CEO Anil Agarwal’s tweets, Mr. Aaditya Thackeray said, “Although I’m glad to see this in India, I am a bit shocked to see this. New dispensation had tweeted photos, claiming to have brought this to Maharashtra, but it seems the intent/commitment was to send this away from Maharashtra. Our MVA govt. had brought this to the final stage.”

Adding more, the former minister wrote, “Ind Minister @Subhash_Desai ji, @midc_india and I held meetings fr bringing this semiconductor project to Maharashtra. For a project almost finalised, and a new dispensation claiming credit over it only shows lack of commitment from the new dispensation for our State’s progress.”

Further, he wished the industry and the company success and said its success would lead to a new horizon opening up for India. “Under the MVA, our effort was to make Maharashtra, the lead State contributor to India’s progress, just like other States in a healthy competition,” he wrote.

Leaders in the State said that the company opted to set up its plant in Gujarat as the State Government offered cheap electricity to build its plant near Ahmedabad, apart from irresistible financial and non-financial subsidies on capital expenditure.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and MLA Jayanth R. Patil said that Maharashtra had lost a project with an employment potential of around one lakh and the MVA Government had pursued the investment on a large scale.

“The delegation of this company recently met the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. As they [CM and Dy. CM] are busy holding political meetings, Gujarat has once again taken away the grass from Maharashtra’s mouth. With the Gujarat elections coming up, the BJP in Maharashtra seems busy safeguarding the interests of Gujarat,” he said.

He asked whether the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister apologise to the educated unemployed youth of the State for losing their rightful employment.

Congress Leader Satyjeet Tambe said the investment failure had pushed Maharashtra youth’s future into the dark. “This is one more betrayal against Maharashtra as the $22 billion investment would have boosted youth employment and ensured economic growth,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and said that the MoU is an important step in accelerating India’s semiconductor manufacturing ambitions. “The investment of ₹1.54 lakh crore will create a significant impact to boost economy and jobs. This will also create a huge ecosystem for ancillary industries and help our MSMEs,” he said. The Hindu

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