Ajit Pawar denies allegations that Vedanta decided to move project to Gujarat during MVA rule

The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government and the opposition have been holding each other responsible for the multi-billion project going to neighbouring Gujarat.

September 20, 2022 05:12 pm | Updated September 21, 2022 05:08 pm IST - Mumbai:

NCP leader Ajit Pawar. File

NCP leader Ajit Pawar. File | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday dubbed as "complete lies" the Maharashtra government's claim that Vedanta-Foxconn had decided to take their project to Gujarat when the Maha Vikas Aghadi was in power in Maharashtra.

The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government and the opposition have been holding each other responsible for the multi-billion project going to neighbouring Gujarat.

The joint venture semiconductor project of the Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, proposed to be set up near Pune city earlier, will come up in Gujarat now.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, which comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, collapsed in June this year after Mr. Shinde led a revolt against the Sena leadership.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday alleged that a "10% commission" had to be paid when the MVA was in power for every subsidy that was announced.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday, Ajit Pawar, the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, challenged the government to conduct a probe into the charge that money was being asked by some in the MVA government which led to the (Vedanta-Foxconn) company deciding to set up its plant in Gujarat.

"They (BJP) are in power at the Centre, state and have other agencies with them. Let them probe, then things will be clear," Mr. Pawar said.

He said there are reports that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is going to Delhi, and urged the CM to make every effort to bring back the Vedanta-Foxconn project.

"Some people are spreading rumours that Vedanta had taken the decision (to set up its plant in Gujarat) before they (the new government led by Eknath Shinde) came to power, which is complete lies," he said.

A high power committee under the state chief secretary met on July 15 while the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government collapsed in June, Mr. Pawar said.

On Friday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said after assuming charge in June-end this year, he had met Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal and the state offered a tailor-made package to the company to match up to the Gujarat offer, but he was told a decision to move the project to the neighbouring state was in its final stages.

"The decision was taken even before we came to power. When we came to power, we tried every bit. The ones who did nothing are pointing fingers at us," Mr. Fadnavis had said.

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