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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Aarey Metro car shed first victim of Maha ‘Vikas’ Aghadi

Stopping the work on the Aarey Metro car shed was part of the NCP-INC manifesto that, ironically, the government of a coalition with 'Vikas' in its name is implementing

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after formally taking charge on Friday afternoon, took an action that would hardly gel with the name of the coalition government he heads: Maha Vikas Aghadi. He held a press conference for the first time where he told journalists, “I have ordered to stop the construction work of Aarey Metro car shed. The Metro work will not stop but not even a single leaf of Aarey forests will be cut until the next decision.”

Presuming his action was good for the capital of Maharashtra, the new chief minister said, “I am the first chief minister of the State who was born in Mumbai. My mind keeps on doing what I can do for this city.”

The work on the planned Metro car shed had been an eyesore not only for leftist activists and Bollywood celebrities but also for the NCP and INC. They had mentioned in their Assembly election manifesto that the work on the Aarey Metro car shed would be stopped if they were brought to power. As the story linked to this paragraph would show, there were several inconsistencies in the activists’ demand.

The Supreme Court had refused to stop the work of the Aarey Metro car shed, though. The apex court had but added in its order that deforestation for the work must stop. The BJP had said it would “request” the court order.

“I am in the State secretariat for the first time. I sat down with the secretaries and got acquainted with each other. I instructed them to use taxpayer’s money properly and not to ruin it,” Thackeray said.

The Maharashtra chief minister formally took charge on Friday afternoon. He went to the Chief Minister’s Office located on the sixth floor of Mantralaya shortly after 2 PM and took charge.

A plate with the name “Udhdav (rather than Uddhav) Balasaheb Thackeray” has been installed outside the office. On reaching Mantralaya, he laid a wreath on the portrait of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the building.

On his way to Mantralaya from Matoshree, the residence of the Thackeray family in Bandra, he had stopped at the Hutatma Chowk in southern Mumbai and paid tribute to the martyrs there.

Also the Shiv Sena president, Thackeray had taken the oath as chief minister of Maharashtra on Thursday evening. He had presided over the first Cabinet meeting at night.

Thackeray is leading the government of Maha Vikas Aghadi, a coalition of the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC. Apart from Thackeray, six other ministers were sworn in — two each from the Shiv Sena, INC and NCP.

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