Aaditya Thackeray slams Shinde govt over foreign tours on 'taxpayers' money'

State culture minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and officials from his department are slated to go to the UK on October 3 to get the revered weapon back

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray (photo: Getty Images)
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray (photo: Getty Images)


Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday hit out at the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra for plans to visit foreign nations on the expense of taxpayers.

He also sought to know if the 'wagh nakh' (tiger claw-shaped weapon) being brought to Maharashtra from a museum in United Kingdom would stay here permanently or was it on loan and whether it belonged to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or was it from the era of the legendary warrior king.

State culture minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and officials from his department are slated to go to the UK on October 3 to get the revered weapon back.

Addressing a press conference, Thackeray, while slamming the Shinde government over foreign tours, wanted to know why industries minister Uday Samant was going to Davos four months ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) there.

He said Deputy Chairperson of the Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe led a 50-member delegation on a study tour abroad.

"What study was done during this tour? Farmers are in misery here and money is being splurged in this manner," the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader alleged.

Thackeray said CM Shinde and Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar had dropped plans to tour foreign nations after he raised "right questions" about the futility of such visits, which produce "no outcomes for the state".

Shinde cancelled his trips to UK and Germany, while Narwekar was supposed to be part of a delegation to Ghana.

Thackeray said Shinde was supposed to visit Germany and UK for a "holiday disguised as an official tour of the government with a huge number of people shown as delegation".

The visit was cancelled "within 30 minutes of my social media post" after he asked details about investments that would come in and places covered, Thackeray claimed.

"Foreign visits are being planned without any concrete agenda. If you want to go on a holiday, go on your own money. Why are you using taxpayers' money? After asking the right questions, the illegal CM of Maharashtra and the Speaker had to cancel their trips," Thackeray claimed.

He said the "joke" was Narwekar was going for the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference even as he "delays" a decision on the disqualification pleas against Shiv Sena MLAs, including the CM.

His delaying tactics are killing democracy in Maharashtra, the second largest state in the country, and he will have to answer the people why this is happening despite the Supreme Court directive (to take a decision within a reasonable time) of May.Thackeray said.

Thackeray claimed the 5-day visit of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to Japan was paid for by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation despite the latter being invited by the government there.

"More so, GR (government resolution) states that there will be a detailed report filed by the delegation within one month of arrival, ie, 25th August. Now its been more than a month. We can't see any detailed report or outcomes apart from an honourary doctorate to the DCM," Thackeray wrote on X.

Hitting back, Mumbai Bharatiya Janata Party chief Ashish Shelar said the expenses of Fadnavis' visit was borne by Japan, while the Maharashtra government bore expenses of only officials accompanying the deputy CM.

The investments brought about by the visit are available on Fadnavis' social media posts, Shelar said, adding that "those who visited foreign countries when their father was ill should not preach others".

Taking a swipe at Thackeray, the BJP MLA said "this happens due to immaturity but one must not cross limits". PTI MR NP

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Published: 30 Sep 2023, 4:36 PM