On Vedanta-Foxconn row, Fadnavis says Gujarat is not Pakistan; ‘We are together’

On Vedanta-Foxconn row, Fadnavis says Gujarat is not Pakistan; ‘We are together'

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said Gujarat the state which bagged the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant project is not Pakistan amid the political controversy of Maharashtra losing the project to Gujarat at an advanced stage. “Gujarat is no Pakistan. It is our brother. This is a healthy competition. We want to go ahead of Gujarat, Karnataka, everyone,” Fadnavis said speaking at an event. He added that despite Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal’s clarification on Twitter, the controversy is raging on.

Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have attacked the Eknath Shinde-Fadnavis government for the loss of Vedanta. The unit was supposed to come near Pune, but Vedanta-Foxconn signed the MoU with the Gujarat government on September 13, in a surprise move — triggering a major political controversy. The opposition alleged that the present government in Maharashtra is working at the behest of the Centre and working towards Gujarat’s development at the cost of Maharashtra.

Fadnavis said he himself met Anil Agarwal after he took over the office of the deputy chief minister and offered a ‘tailor-made’ package to the company to match up the Gujarat deal. “But he said the decision to move the unit to Gujarat was in its final stage at that time,” Fadnavis said.

While Fadnavis claimed that Vedanta made the decision to take the project to Gujarat, Maharashtra former minister Aaditya Thackeray provided a timeline that on July 15, there was a high-power committee meeting on the project, followed by the Shinde-Fadnavis government’s announcement to the media and the state Assembly that the project was coming to Maharashtra.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in late June, following the rebellion of Shinde and his supporter MLAs.

According to re[ports, Eknath Shinde wrote a letter to Anil Agarwal on July 26, the same time the new government announced that the project was coming to Maharashtra. In his letter, he wrote that both the demands of Vedanta-Foxconn — cabinet approval and Centre’s alignment — were on track.

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