Ajit Pawar questions Governor Koshyari promoting industries for Uttarakhand: ‘Bid to take industries out of state’

A day after Maharashtra Governor B S Koshiyari presided over an event promoting investment in his home state of Uttarakhand, leader of opposition (LoP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday took a swipe at him, stating that people in higher positions should not attempt to “take industries out of the state”.

While addressing a press conference at party headquarters on Tuesday, Pawar said, “All individuals in higher positions should try and ensure that industries remain in the state. But during the period of this government, Chief Ministers of other states and even the higher ups in Maharashtra from other states are advising that the industries should go to other states. I must say that this is not the right thing to do.”

According to Raj Bhavan, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA) and the SIDCUL Manufacturers Association Uttarakhand on Monday at an event where Koshyari and Uttarakhand’s Minister of Industries Chandan Ram Das were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Koshyari had said Uttarakhand has much scope in sectors like Information Technology, Herbal Industries, Adventure Tourism and others. He called upon the members of the MACCIA to help the hill state come up in trade.

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While not directly naming Koshyari, Pawar said people in higher ranks “must not do such activities” while residing in Maharashtra.

The Governor had been at odds with the previous Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government throughout its two-and-half-year tenure. The Governor also did not clear the appointment of 12 Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) for almost one-and-half years causing much heartburn among the MVA leaders. The alliance also criticised Koshyari’s “interference” in administration. In July, his statement where he said that exit of Gujarati and Rajasthani people from Mumbai and Thane will no longer make the city financial capital had raked up a controversy.

Earlier, Pawar slammed the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government over its scheme of handing out Diwali kits, consisting of one kilogram each of rawa, sugar, chana dal (lentils) and one litre of palm oil at Rs 100, to 1.7 crore ration card holders in the state. The total scheme was worth Rs 500 crore.

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“There are discrepancies in the costing of the food items. We are studying the matter, but prima facie it looks like the case of overcharging,” said Pawar.

The LoP has also demanded to know the number of individuals being extended Y plus security. “Who are these people on whom so much money is being wasted? Is it really necessary to provide security to former corporators? Why is the government wasting state exchequer’s money on this?” he asked.

Commenting on the recent controversy of state’s agriculture minister Abdul Sattar Pawar using alleged derogatory remarks against his cousin and Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule, Pawar said that even the ministers in the government have forgotten the constitutional position they hold. “Posts are temporary. Ultimately we all are citizens and law has to be followed,” he said.