Nagpur/Mumbai: After ruling coalition partner Shiv Sena, the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party Tuesday criticized Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his plans to entrust Mumbai development to a special committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both Congress and NCP joined the Sena in raising strong objections to Fadnavis' proposal to set up a high-level panel led by Modi which would oversee Mumbai's development.
"Can't they run the state or work on Mumbai's development. Is there some hidden agenda behind all this?" asked state Congress president Manikrao Thakre, hinting at attempts to delink Mumbai from Maharashtra.
NCP state spokesperson Nawab Malik was more direct in flaying Fadnavis' move which has already become controversial.
"Setting up a committee under the PM indicates that there are attempts to create a Delhi-like situation and break Mumbai from Maharashtra," he claimed.
Congress Legislature Party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said there is no need for any committee headed by the PM for Mumbai development and this "only proves the weakness of the state government".
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray wondered why only Mumbai should be singled out for development.
"What about other cities like Pune, Nashik, Nagpur? Why can't there be speedy all round development of other parts of the state, too?" he said.
Earlier Tuesday, through an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena had also objected to the proposal and warned the government it could prove to be controversial.
"In the past, there has been lot of talk of transforming Mumbai into Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Mumbai pours Rs.175,000 crores annually into central coffers, but is forced to remain like a beggar," it said.
Sounding a warning on how the proposal could become "a weapon in the hands of the opposition parties," the Sena said its firm view was that Mumbai should remain with Maharashtra and its control should not be diluted.
Recently, it had targeted Fadnavis when he spoke of plans to appoint a CEO to supervise Mumbai development, but the proposal died down following criticism.
On his part, Fadnavis urged all political parties to refrain from politicizing the issue of Mumbai's development.
"It is a political controversy ignited by certain people. When it is a question of Mumbai's development, there should be no politics. Those who are indulging in it are playing with Mumbai's progress," he said.
He pointed out that whenever there are new projects, they have to be sent to New Delhi for clearance of various central laws like the Coastal Regulation Zone, environment and others.
"If I am requesting the PM to fast-track Mumbai projects, why should there be a controversy," he asked.