Mumbai, Oct 3 (IANS): Shiv Sena-UBT MLA Aditya Thackeray on Monday questioned the purpose behind Industry Minister Uday Samant’s proposed visit to Switzerland, Germany, and the United Kingdom from Tuesday and demanded that he should cancel it.
Pursuing his crusades against the foreign jaunts by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other ministers, Thackeray Jr. raised sharp queries on the Minister’s "foreign holiday on tax-payers money".
"Who are the participants in the so-called round-table conference you will attend in London and Munich? Who has organised the 'Artificial Intelligence' meeting in London?” asked Aditya Thackeray, in a broadside on X.
Noting that with no representative at the World Economic Forum in Davos right now and nothing going on, he asked: “What exactly are you going to look at?", as the WEF is scheduled only in January 2024.
The Sena-UBT ex-Minister alleged that the Sawant’s Davos "inspection visit was a fake and demanded he must cancel his Swiss holiday financed by tax-payers monies".
"If the government has so much to spend on foreign trip, let’s talk about helping farmers or old age pension schemes… How long will you jeer at the people of the state you elected you? The people of Maharashtra will be watching over your visit," said Aditya Thackeray.
He said on Gandhi Jayanti day, "I very humbly request you once again to cancel this tour", and if the minister wanted to take holidays, then he should do it from his own pocket, and not waste public money.* *Sawant has claimed that he will be attending the signing ceremony to bring back the famed 'Wagh-Nakh' (Tiger Claws) of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj kept in a London museum, and sign two contracts of MIDC there.
In Davos, Samant contended he will be inspecting "how the preparations for the Maharashtra Pavilion at Davos are going on", and accused the Opposition of politicising and spreading wrong information about these foreign trips.
Incidentally, last week, after Aditya Thackeray’s strong criticism, Shinde postponed his foreign trip to the UK and Germany, ostensibly due to the recent floods in parts of eastern Maharashtra. Similarly, following an earful from Shiv Sena-UBT MP Sanjay Raut, Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar cancelled his trip to Ghana for the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
Last month, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis travelled to Japan, where he took a ride on a Bullet Train, and Thackeray Jr. questioned that though it was an official visit, the MIDC footed all his bills.