The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies have reacted sharply to the decision of the Adani Group to relocate the headquarters of its recently acquired crown jewel — the high-profile Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) — from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.
In a major organizational restructuring two days ago (July 18), the Adani Group decided to shift the headquarters of Adani Airport Holdings Ltd., which runs CSMIA, from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, stunning corporate and aviation circles.
The three allies, the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress, have castigated the move as part of “a larger design” to downgrade the importance of Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital.
“This is a message from (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi to the people of Maharashtra. The recent ‘dandiya dance’ at the CSMIA conveyed a lot. This whole exercise started 7 years ago when the International Finance Services Centre was also taken away from Mumbai and shifted to Gujarat,” said State Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
NCP Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said that instead of being concerned about the development of Mumbai, the Modi government is concentrating on the progress of Gujarat at the expense of Maharashtra.
“A few years ago, they decided to link Mumbai-Ahmedabad with a grandiose Bullet Train project. Thankfully, the people of this state have rejected it,” said Tapase.
The Shiv Sena’s Kishore Tiwari – accorded MoS status – said since the day it took over, the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre has resorted to targeting Maharashtra with the state BJP nodding its head to the machinations of the Modi government.
“This cannot be tolerated. If the Adani Group goes ahead with the move to relocate the Mumbai Airport headquarters to Ahmedabad, we shall be forced to launch an agitation,” warned Tiwari.
Sawant pointed out that Maharashtra never discriminates against any entrepreneur or industry and welcomes all who participate in the state’s development with open arms and dignity.
“Earlier, Mumbai Airport was owned by GVK of Andhra Pradesh. They did not relocate the headquarters to their state or organize Kuchipudi dance at this airport. Why should the Modi government encourage such things,” Sawant asked.
Seeing the move as “a conspiracy” to run down Mumbai, Tapase said this would be an inadvisable step and urged the Adani Group to respect the sentiments, culture and traditions of Maharashtra.
Tiwari added that on every occasion, the BJP at the Centre and state have resorted to undermining the MVA government and also dilute the pre-eminent status of Maharashtra and Mumbai by shifting major government institutions from here.
“But everything is falling in the lap of only Gujarat and not any other state. Why is this favourable treatment always given to Modi’s home state when he is the PM of the entire country,” Tiwari asked.
The Sena leader cautioned that it reeks of political malafide action and must be opposed by all parties in the state, including the Maharashtra BJP failing which misguided leaders will harm Mumbai in the long run.
The Adani Group announcement came barely five days after it said it had acquired control of CSMIA and the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport on July 13.
This makes AAHL the largest private operator of airports with eight under its belt now including Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram.