The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, in a show of strength, will hold a mass protest in Pune’s Talegaon on September 24, against the loss of the big-ticket Vedanta-Foxconn investment in Maharashtra. Former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray will lead the ‘Jan Aakrosh Andolan’ against the shifting of the semiconductor manufacturing project to neighbouring Gujarat. The move is aimed at the current government led by chief minister Eknath Shinde’s breakaway Sena faction and the BJP.
Vedanta-Foxconn would have brought in an investment of Rs 1.54 lakh crore and was expected to provide one lakh jobs. “Through the ‘Jan Aakrosh Andolan’, we want to ask the government about the future of the youth who have lost the opportunity to be employed,” a Sena spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the current regime had sent away the Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat causing immense loss to Maharashtra’s youth. A press release issued by the party stated that the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi-led government had laid the groundwork for the project to be located in Talegaon.
The project was “almost finalised” due to the efforts of then state industries minister Subhash Desai and tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, it said. “But after the change in government and due to its inefficacy, the project has been lost to Gujarat,” it added.
The Sena faction led by Uddhav has severely criticised the current regime in the state over the loss of this investment. The protest comes in a line of events that the party has planned as a show of strength against Shinde’s efforts to project control over the Sena.
A statement from the Uddhav-led faction also read the ‘Jan Aakrosh Andolan’ was being organised because the loss of the Rs 1.54 lakh crore project had led to the “dreams of one lakh youth being crushed”. “What should the youth do now? What is the state government doing to provide employment? We will seek answers,” the statement read.