Mumbai: Maharashtra's ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena Tuesday expressed reservations over Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' reported proposal to entrust Mumbai's development to a special committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Justifying the move, Fadnavis has said it is not possible to achieve the country's progress without progress of Mumbai. But the Sena said that the move could prove to be highly controversial.
"The Marathis feel that the proposal to create separate machinery for the development of the city is a move to delink Mumbai from Maharashtra. It remains to be seen what are the political ramifications of this plan," the Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana' Tuesday.
It quoted Fadnavis as saying: "The progress and development of India is not possible without Mumbai's progress. It is imperative for all concerned state and central agencies to work unitedly to achieve speedy development in Mumbai."
Terming Fadnavis' intentions as laudable, the Sena cautioned on how this conveyed an impression that the state was attempting to discard its responsibility towards developing Mumbai.
"In the past, there has been lot of talk of transforming Mumbai into Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Mumbai pours Rs.175,000 crore annually into central coffers, but is forced to remain like a beggar," the edit 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.
It questioned why only Mumbai, it was necessary for other major cities in the country like Delhi, Patna, Lucknow, Bhopal, Kolkata to be brought under the PM's attention so that the pressures on Mumbai could cease.
"When all other cities in the country also develop and progress, pressures on Mumbai will lessen and enable her to breathe easy. Mumbai must develop, but ensure that the cure is not worse than the disease itself," the Sena stressed.
Asserting that Mumbai is already a global financial centre, the Sena took a swipe at Fadnavis, saying it would be better if other cities in the state, like Nagpur, which is the chief minister's home town, are also made world-class centres.
"Nagpur, the state's second capital, needs development which can benefit entire Vidarbha. Even Marathwada's progress must be considered. All this will ensure overall progress of Maharashtra. But, the CM has put the fate of Mumbai in Delhi's hands and returned, though his intentions are honest," the edit lamented.
Hinting at possible repercussions, the Sena said it would be like trying to do something auspicious when suddenly 'shraadhh' (death rituals) has to be performed."
"In short, the CM is in a tearing hurry. We compliment him for this," the edit said.