MUMBAI: Gujarat “is not Pakistan, it is our younger brother,” said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis as he sought to dissipate political tensions over the loss of the Rs 1.5 lakh crore Foxconn-Vedanta semiconductor plant to the neighbouring state. The BJP has been accusing the MVA and especially Shiv Sena of ratcheting up social tensions between Marathi and Gujarati speakers over the shifting of the project.
“Both states were formed on the same day. Both were together once. This is finally healthy competition. We want to go ahead of everyone and make Maharashtra No. 1,” he said while addressing small-scale entrepreneurs at the Laghu Udyog Bharati conclave in Mumbai on Friday evening.
Attacking the opposition, Fadnavis said that “by merely speaking against Gujarat, you cannot beat Gujarat, for that one needs policies.” “For five years, I ensured Maharashtra stayed ahead of Gujarat. Those who are now speaking against Gujarat took it to the No. 1 position and pulled Maharashtra down. Finally, the investor looks at the environment in the state,” he added.
He claimed that the day after being sworn in, he had called the MIDC CEO to understand what was happening. “I was told the Foxconn-Vedanta project was leaning towards Gujarat and we needed to act fast. I even met the Vedanta chief at his home and told him we will give more than what Gujarat is offering. I told him we will make a tailor-made package for them. Their people came to see the land. He, however, told us their decision to go to Gujarat had already been made… What did we do? We tried our best to change their minds. Those now pointing fingers at us did nothing in the last two years. In their tenure, Maharashtra lagged behind Gujarat, but we will take it ahead in the next two years.”
Strongly advocating reviving the scrapped refinery project in the Konkan and the Vadhawan port project in the state, the deputy CM said the focus now will be on infrastructure-led development.
Fadnavis said implementation of the two projects would ensure Maharashtra remains in the forefront for the next two decades. He said the Rs 3.5 lakh crore refinery project was a joint venture between government oil companies and a company from the Middle East.

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