Sharad Pawar, the president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), claimed on Thursday that the Centre’s assurance to the Maharashtra government that it would provide a larger project to the state than the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant was like “consoling a child” and that there was no point in continuing to discuss the issue now that the unit had relocated to Gujarat.
He also made fun of Vedanta, saying there was no guarantee that whatever project the Indian mining company proposed for Maharashtra would be implemented.
Following the announcement two days ago that a joint venture will establish the 1.54 lakh crore semiconductor facility, a joint venture between Vedanta, an Indian oil-to-metals conglomerate, and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn in Gujarat. The plant was earlier supposed to be set up in Maharashtra, but the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress have attempted to corner the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
Speaking to the reporters in this location, Mr. Pawar poked fun at the national government over Gujarat winning the project, saying that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah both hold significant power, it is understandable “if they give a little more attention to their home state.”
When questioned about his response to Maharashtra losing out on the Vedanta-Foxconn project, the former Union minister claimed that because the project had already gone to the neighboring state, there was no point in addressing the matter.
He claimed that Talegaon, which is close to Chakan and already has an automobile center, was the intended location for the massive project to be built. If the factory had been made, it would have been advantageous for the business (Vedanta-Foxconn) at Talegaon.
Leaders of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the state government are engaged in a verbal battle over the issue after Gujarat was awarded the multi-billion dollar project, blaming each other for Maharashtra’s failure to get the plant.
“The statement that a bigger project will be given to Maharashtra was like consoling a child who is crying after seeing a balloon in another child’s hand and his parents consoling him that they will give him a bigger balloon,” Pawar said in response to Industries Minister Uday Samant’s announcement that the Prime Minister has assured Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of a better and bigger project than Vedanta-Foxconn for the state. The Rajya Sabha MP criticized Shinde and Samant for attributing the problems to the previous Uddhav Thackeray administration.
According to the NCP president, the irony in this situation is that Samant and Shinde were both ministers in the Thackeray administration.
He claimed that Maharashtra intended to host the project and that negotiations had already begun.
“But the (proposal) underwent significant adjustments, and at this point, I do not see a workable option. Despite suggestions to the contrary, the project will not be returned to Maharashtra, and the decision should be altered. It (the Gujarat project) should not have taken place. There was no use in talking about this project now because it was a Maharashtra initiative and shouldn’t have left the state, “explained he.
When asked if Gujarat’s political leadership was more assertive than Maharashtra’s, Pawar said it is understandable if Modi and Shah give a little bit more attention to their home state.
“Modiji himself is present, along with Amit Shah, who are the individuals in charge of the nation. Therefore, it is clear if they pay Gujarat a little bit more attention. If you observe Modiji’s tours, where does he commonly go? One thing will be evident if you look at the records from the previous two to three months: a person is attached to his home.
According to Mr. Pawar, the Vedanta company is involved in the project, and its chairman Anil Agarwal has every right to decide where it would be located.
You might not know this, but the Vedanta company planned to implement a significant project in Ratnagiri (in coastal Maharashtra). But after some time, protests took place, and the project was immediately taken to Chennai. This is an old thing. So from Vedanta, this is not the first time it has happened (earlier also). If a project from Vedanta is proposed to come (to Maharashtra), assurance cannot be given whether the project will go or not,” he added.
Earlier, Mr. Agarwal claimed in a series of tweets that the Vedanta-Foxconn JV had been expertly evaluating the site for the multi-billion dollar investment.
“This is a lengthy, expensive scientific and financial procedure. About two years ago, we began this, “the businessman said.
They had engaged with the governments of each of the four chosen states—Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu—and the federal government and “had received wonderful support,” he said.
“Since Gujarat matched our expectations, we made our decision a few months ago. However, during the July meeting with Maharashtra authorities, they made a significant attempt to outbid other states with a competitive offer. Based on objective and competent advice, we decided on Gujarat as our starting point, “the chairman of Vedanta remarked.
According to the seasoned politician, organizations like SICOM (State Industrial & Investment Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd.) no more extend function.
“A burp after eating signifies that a person has finished his meal and is not hungry for anything else. I believe that the current state leadership feels the same way. According to the former chief minister, this strategy must alter, and steps should be taken to bring additional projects to the state.
When asked if prospective investors worry about political unrest in Maharashtra, Mr. Pawar responded that a state must foster an environment that will draw investments and businesses.
“Allegations are being leveled at one another rather than considering the state. I believe that both the opposition and those in authority should stop leveling accusations against one another, and everyone should work towards improving the atmosphere in the state and focus on how to take it forward,” the NCP leader said.
Mr. Pawar claimed that he set aside two hours each day for meetings with potential investors when he served as chief minister of Maharashtra. “In Maharashtra, that was the environment for investments. It is necessary to reintroduce that strategy, “he stated.