MUMBAI: A big setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project, the Mumbai to Ahmedabad bullet train, after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that he will prefer the bullet train to connect Mumbai to Nagpur rather than Ahmedabad. He also clarified that the bullet train subject has now taken a 'backseat'.
“Since the inception of our government no one asked about this project and we have also not discussed it. We will take people-oriented issues that will benefit our Maharashtra. The government is with people of the state,” Thackeray said.
In his marathon interview with his party mouthpiece Saamana, Uddhav Thackeray said that he would like to connect the capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai, to the state's sub-capital Nagpur.
“There are some people who deliberately make a difference between people of Vidarbha and rest of Maharashtra. This Mumbai to Nagpur bullet train will help to bridge the gap. Like Samruddhi Mahamarg, the bullet train will compete if the central government revise its plan,” said Thackeray.
He said that Shiv Sena as a party has always supported the farmers who opposed the bullet train. “Now, we are in the power, we will do whatever it requires to support the farmers. In Nanar refinery also, the central government had approved the plan and some people even offered their land and the transaction also happened. But the majority of people were against the Nanar, so what happened? We cancelled it, the same thing will happen with Mumbai to Ahmedabad bullet train,” the chief minister added.
Uddhav Thackeray said that his government is like 'a three-wheeler auto riksha- it is a poor man's vehicle.'
“We don't need bullet trains but I will prefer the auto riksha. There were some differences of opinion and communication gap among the ministers due to COVID-19 situation. But we are back to normal. We are now maintaining regular communication. I also spoke with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar,” Thackeray said.
Defending Nagpur Municipal commissioner Tukaram Munde, Thackeray added that he will support and defend the IAS officer who is tirelessly working for the people despite opposition from the local politician.
Talking about India-China relations, Uddhav said that the union government asked people to remove Chinese Apps from their mobile. 'The time has come to teach China a lesson..' he said.