Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday praised his predecessor Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, both BJP leaders, for initiatives taken by them for development of the state.
Thackeray, who is also president of the Shiv Sena, the BJP's former ally, said both leaders, who hail from Nagpur, should work hand in hand for development of Maharashtra.
He was speaking after inauguration of Nagpur Metro's Aqua Line.
Thackeray, Gadkari and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri inaugurated the 11km corridor between Lokmanya Nagar-Sitabuldi interchange. Puri took part in the inauguration through video link from Delhi.
With the inauguration of Aqua Line (East-west corridor), 25km of Nagpur Metro project (two third of the total length) has become operational.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the 13.5km Orange Line, the first corridor, on March 7, 2019.
Thackeray praised Gadkari for fulfilling Sena founder and his father late Bal Thackeray's dream of having a sea bridge linking Worli in south Mumbai to Bandra, a western suburb. The cable-stayed bridge was inaugurated in 2009.
The 4.8-km-long, eight-lane sea bridge was conceived during Gadkari's tenure as PWD minister in Maharashtra's first Shiv Sena-BJP government (1995-99).
On a lighter note, Thackeray said, "Though we could not sit together in one vehicle, at least we have come together on this occasion (for metro line inauguration), apparently referring to collapse of the saffron alliance.
Thackeray also praised and thanked Fadnavis, a former BJP chief minister, for efforts taken by him for development of Maharashtra during his tenure (2014-19). Thackeray succeeded Fadnavis as chief minister in November last year.
I am saying from my heart that I dont want to take credit of this good work and want to give credit to all who have worked hard for this project.
"In politics when it comes to taking credit for work then a politician is not a politician if does not take credit for a work. But, I want to humbly say we do not want to take credit but just blessings of people, said Thackeray.
The chief minister expressed the hope that both state and central governments will work together for development of Maharashtra.
Gadkari, who personally took interest in execution of the metro project in his hometown, praised all those involved in the infrastructure venture.
The Lok Sabha MP from Nagpur spoke about the proposed broad gauge metro connecting districts, towns and villages located around the orange city.
In his speech, state cabinet minister Nitin Raut took a jibe at Gadkari and the previous BJP government alleging they failed to get industries at MIHAN (Multi-Model International Passenger and Cargo Hub Airport at Nagpur.
The project comprises developing the existing domestic airport of Nagpur as an international passenger and cargo hub airport, along with a huge Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Raut, a Congress leader who also hails from Nagpur, said Gadkari did not fulfil his 2014 promise of creating 50,000 jobs in Nagpur.
Responding to Raut's criticism, Gadkari said 28,000 people have got employment in MIHAN and he has their list with him.
Besides, he said, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd's (DRAL) facility at MIHAN will manufacture components of the offset obligation linked to the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from France.
The DRAL facility will also manufacture components for Falcon jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation, Gadkari said.
Similarly, many youths from Nagpur as well as Vidarbha have got jobs in MIHAN, the Union minister said.
Gadkari said now Raut, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Sports Minister Sunil Kedar, all hailing from the city, have the responsibility to ensure Nagpur's development.