BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday slammed Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray for their `anti-development agenda” and for opposing the right of every slum dweller in Mumbai to “a better life”, reported the PTI.

Earlier in the day, Aaditya Thackeray had latched on to a comment Goyal, the BJP`s candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat, had made in an interaction with a media house about pursuing a project to ensure his constituency is slum-free.

The Union minister had welcomed the idea of salt pan lands in Mumbai to be redistributed for slum rehabilitation.

Aaditya Thackeray had called it a “very dangerous scheme” and alleged the BJP was trying to remove slums and relocate those living in them to faraway salt pan lands.

In a post on social media platform X, Piyush Goyal said, “Uddhav Thackeray ji and his son cannot dictate the fate of Mumbai. This city sustains the dreams and aspirations of everyone who calls it their home. Those who live in the slums of the city have every right to a better life.” 

“To oppose me for a vision that sees Mumbai transform into one of the finest cities in the world reflects their anti-development agenda. Their blind opposition to our bold ideas and commitment to take development to every doorstep reeks of a mindset to keep the people suppressed and deprived,” he added.

Piyush Goyal said that he was committed to providing a good home to every slum dweller and rehabilitating them where they live, according to the PTI.

“The discredited, disheartened, demoralised and derailed leadership of Uddhav ji cannot provide solutions but only create discord in society,” the Union minister said slamming the Shiv Sena (UBT), the news agency reported on Saturday.

What did Aaditya Thackeray say

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of hatching a plan to forcibly remove slums from Mumbai and relocate those living in them to salt pan lands, reported the PTI.

Addressing a news conference, Aaditya Thackeray latched on to the remarks of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the BJP candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat, as per the PTI.

“This is a very dangerous scheme. Those who live in slums have their livelihood around that place. We will not allow them (BJP) to go ahead with their plan to relocate slums to saltpans,” Aaditya Thackeray said, the news agency reported on Saturday.

“The BJP`s policy is not to eradicate poverty, but poor people,” alleged Aaditya Thackeray, who was a minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime.

Aaditya Thackeray alleged that the BJP`s ploy is to give all the salt pan lands to its “friends” and referred to the Dharavi redevelopment project under which there is a proposal to settle some of the residents on salt pan land in north-eastern Mumbai.

Aaditya Thackeray said it is people of Mumbai who will decide on relocation and not the Centre.

He said when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government sought salt pan land for the metro rail car shed project, the Centre denied permission.

(with PTI inputs)

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