Devendra Fadnavis, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the man for whom the people of Maharashtra had cast their mandate is repeatedly giving lessons to his colleagues and peers in other states regarding the art of being an opposition leader. Fadnavis, as a leader, has politically risen from the bottom and is persistent in his attacks on rivals.
While one cannot discount the fact that the Maha Vikas Aghadi is itself making things pretty easy for the opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis is certainly a leader all politicians of the country should emulate. Whether it be him being in power or being the leader of opposition in Maharashtra now, Fadnavis has excelled in the art of not giving up.
Whether it be Uddhav Thackeray’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state, the stifling of journalistic voices and the rampant walkover being effectuated upon those exercising their freedom of speech, or the fragrant electricity bills being charged in Maharashtra today, Devendra Fadnavis took to unsparingly mounting an attack on the Shiv Sena-led government.
However, on the issue of the Metro car shed, which has been privy to controversy for long, Fadnavis really spoke his heart out. It is the articulation and factual accuracy of the former Chief Minister which makes us say that opposition leaders across the country have much to learn from the man.
Fadnavis said the Metro Line-3 car shed was shifted to Kanjurmarg just to satisfy the Shiv Sena leadership’s ego, according to the Hindustan Times. He claimed the shifting will delay the project by five years and lead to cost escalation worth Rs 4,000 crore.
“I had stayed the proposal of the car shed at Aarey for nine months after taking over as chief minister in 2014 just to check if there was an alternative to it to avoid environmental damage. After checking all other options, an expert committee of top officers said that Aarey was the only option as the Kanjumarg land was under litigation and it will lead to heavy losses and delay to the project,” Fadnavis said at a meeting held to chalk out the saffron party’s strategy for the 2022 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls. That the BJP is preparing for the same from this year itself is something which must be admired as well.
Devendra Fadnavis also revealed how the Thackeray-led government had in fact ignored the report of their own committee, which made a case for not shifting the car shed from Aarey. “Even the committee appointed by Thackeray government under [bureaucrat] Manoj Saunik has recommended keeping the depot at Aarey for the same reasons cited by earlier committee. But the recommendation by their own committee was overruled while shifting the depot to Kanjurmarg,” said Fadnavis.
Fadnavis further added that the car shed at Kanjurmarg will also lead to environmental destruction because of the construction, contrary to the beliefs of the seasonal environmental over zealots in Maharashtra. “When we proposed affordable housing scheme on the salt pan land for poor during our tenure, Thackeray had opposed the proposal citing the reason of environment. How can they allow a car shed that will need similar construction resulting in the environmental issues?” he said. On the issue of the MVA government trying to stall the bullet train project, Fadnavis said that seamless investment of Rs. 50,000 crores in Maharashtra for the project would have given a push to the state’s GDP.
Devendra Fadnavis is a leader whose dedication to the party and public remains unchanged with his position of power, whether it be in the ruling government, or in the opposition. To put up a spirited fight from the opposition indeed takes effort, and rest assured, the BJP will benefit due to the same in the next elections, whenever they are conducted.