Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had led a team, which collected iron for building a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Statue of Unity’ project in Gujarat. Now, a bigger task is awaiting Mungantiwar in his home state. He has to find substantial financial resources for Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji’s memorial, a big political issue in Maharashtra, in Arabian Sea off Mumbai. In an exclusive chat with Express the senior BJP leader said that he will complete the task and has several plans for the state’s branding. The excerpts
There is a requirement of Rs 5,000 crore to complete the Shivaji memorial. How will you raise so much money as the state is already reeling under a debt of Rs 3,00,000 crore?
I don’t know how much money would be required for the memorial. That is a subject of the General Administration(GAD) Department. My job is to make the funds available for the project. Shivaji Maharaj is the pride of the whole nation.
There will not be any dearth of funds for the project. I have written to the Union Government seeking financial help to undertake the project. I expect the Centre to allocate some funds. The state will raise the remaining funds needed for the project.
How much amount have you asked for?
I have not quoted any amount. If the Centre gives its nod to fund the project we will then convey our requirement.
Do you think the Union Government will accept your demand?
I believe in getting things done rather of thinking about them. They had provided Rs 200 crore to the ‘Statue of Unity’ in last Union Budget. I had ensured the rechristening of several universities though they did not fall in my constituency. I am a man of action.
Your government has completed 100 days but you have not yet come out with any big scheme. Why is it so?
You will have to wait till I present the state budget before the big scheme is unveiled . We are working on several schemes.