Cong to hold symbolic bhoomi-pujan at Ambedkar memorial site
Maharashtra Congress will hold a symbolic 'bhoomi-pujan' (ground-breaking) ceremony at the site of proposed memorial of Dr B R Ambedkar at the Indu Mill premises here tomorrow, on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam told reporters that it was the party's way of protesting BJP-led state government's failure to keep its promise of holding the bhoomi-pujan on April 14.
"The state government had promised to perform bhoomi-pujan on April 14. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi postponed the event as they are touring abroad. We protest the delay, and are going to hold a symbolic ceremony in the presence of state Congress president Ashok Chavan," Nirupam said.
The state government and the Centre earlier this month signed a three-party agreement with National Textile Corporation, which owns the Indu Mill land. The agreement was signed in the presence of Modi, Fadnavis and Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar.
However, Nirupam said, the agreement had already been signed by the Congress-led UPA government and there was a demand that the Textile Undertakings Nationalisation Act-1995 be amended to get the land for the memorial. But this government did not follow it up.
Amendment was necessary so that no one could challenge the transfer of land for the memorial later, he said.
Nirupam also questioned BJP-led government's silence over Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's controversial statement in a newspaper article advocating disfranchisement of Muslims.
He asked why the Chief Minister had not taken action against Raut even 24 hours after the article came out.
"Why BJP is silent over the issue? Should we assume that it supports the Sena MP's statement? The government should have taken action and lodged an FIR against Raut and the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'," he said.
Nirupam also termed Chief Minister Fadnavis's announcement of setting up a global financial centre at BKC in Mumbai as a "blatant lie".
"Every country has only one global financial centre and our (UPA) government had proposed it in Mumbai. However, the NDA government shifted it to Gujarat. When the CM was boasting about erecting iconic building in BKC for the financial centre last week, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the Gift City in Gujarat," Nirupam said.
Referring to Fadnavis's announcement last week in the legislature that Mumbai will have its own global financial centre at BKC with an iconic building, Nirupam said, "It was a hogwash.
"We can see the business houses shifting outside Mumbai. So I have written letters to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, industrialists Kumarmangalam Birla and Ambanis to intervene and speak to the government so that our businesses don't move to the neighbouring state."
When asked what was the difference between the financial global city announced by Fadnavis and the one that is coming up at GIFT City in Gujarat, Nirupam said, "The global financial centre deals with international bank trading.
It requires huge land, upto 100 acres. Building a single building at BKC will not serve the purpose."