Nana Patole of Congress. File. | Photo credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Maharashtra Congress MP Nana Patole on September 11 alleged that the upcoming special session of Parliament was aimed at dividing Maharashtra, separating Mumbai from the state and declaring it a Union Territory.

“Mumbai is the pride of not just Maharashtra but the entire country. On the agenda of the upcoming special session of Parliament is bifurcation of Maharashtra and shifting of industries from Mumbai to Gujarat,” Mr Patole said while speaking in Gondia district.

However, the congressman did not elaborate on the basis of his claims.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never called a special session of Parliament on any major crisis, be it the COVID-19 pandemic, demonetisation or the Manipur riots. This special session will be called at the pleasure of the government. I am saying that during this session, the ruling BJP will declare Mumbai a union territory and separate it from the rest of Maharashtra,” Mr Patole claimed to reporters.

The center has not announced the agenda for the special meeting Sept. 18-22.

Stating that Mumbai is an international city and the financial capital of the country, Mr. Patole said that the city’s powerhouses like Air India, the International Financial Services Center and the diamond market among others were being relocated and a plan was underway to relocate it to Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange to Gujarat.

‘Main Obstacle’

The Congress leader further alleged that the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government (comprising the Shiv Sena (UBT), the NCP and the Congress) was brought down by the BJP-ruled Center as it was a major obstacle to a Such anti-government decisions were made by the state.

Mr Patole, along with other leaders of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), accused the BJP of constantly trying to diminish Maharashtra’s importance in the last few years, not hesitating to point this out after the Eknath Shinde government came to power Due to the split of the Shiv Sena, major projects like Vedanta-Foxconn, the Bulk Drug Park, Tata Airbus and others had moved out of Maharashtra.

The opposition MVA has long accused the BJP of plotting “a conspiracy” to devalue the industrial importance of Maharashtra in general and Mumbai in particular.

In March this year, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had dismissed reports that the BJP-led Center was planning to shift the textile commissioner’s office from Mumbai to Delhi.

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