Terming the 'Smart City' project of the Union government as "unconstitutional" and "illegal", the Shiv Sena today alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship scheme is a ploy to have central control over Mumbai.
Coming down heavily on the project, the ruling alliance partner said it is an attempt to create a new "underworld" and thereby impose a "parallel administration."
"Every city has a different problem. The formation of a special purpose vehicle with funds from the state government
and the municipal corporation would be a private company that would control the municipal corporation, and the city would thus be finally controlled by the Centre," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"If someone from the Centre is controlling a city, it is a kind of dictatorship. Controlling a city through companies by bypassing the elected municipal corporation is illegal and unconstitutional...It is like creating a new underworld and imposing a parallel government," it charged.
The Sena further alleged that the project favoured capitalists, traders and builders and that providing Rs 500 crore over five years for Mumbai, that has an annual budget of over Rs 34,000 crore, is of no use.
"Mumbai gives taxes worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore to the Centre every year. If the Centre uses even 25 per cent of this
money for the city, not only Mumbai but the entire Maharashtra would become a smart state," the editorial said.
"We cannot let Mumbai become a servant of multi-national companies in the name of Smart City and let them decide on the development and taxes. Today power is being snatched from the people and cities are going in the hands of the rich. If this is a back-door ploy to Centrally administer Mumbai, then people should see Shivaji with a sword in his hand," the Sena said.
It also said that those wanting to implement the proposal should first visit the memorial of 105 martyrs who sacrificed their lives for a united Maharashtra.