The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have strongly objected to Thane Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde’s demand that the Navi Mumbai international airport be named after Balasaheb Thackeray.
Both parties have been demanding that the airport be named after Dinkar Balu Patil known as DB Patil among the masses. BJP MLA Prashant Thakur said that so far no major project in Navi Mumbai had been dedicated to late DB Patil who had all his life fought for the welfare of farmers.
“When the CIDCO had acquired land in Navi Mumbai for construction of the city, Patil had led several protests for farmers. At an agitation in 1984, four farmers died and eventually the 12.5% scheme of the CIDCO was launched for farmers, and now it is applicable across the State. He fought for the villagers in the Uran area when the JNPT acquired the land. He had even steered protest sitting in ambulance,” Mr. Thakur said.
MNS leader Gajanan Kale said if Mr. Shinde had sought the opinion of local leaders all would have suggested DB Patil. “We have written to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting him to dedicate the airport to Patil,” he said, adding, “It is just another way of the Sena to start a political clash for no reason.”
One week ago, Mr. Shinde had written to the CM seeking that the airport be named after the late Sena founder.
From the time the airport was planned, all parties had agreed to the idea of naming the project after Patil, Mr. Thakur said. “No one has made an official request in this regard till date as the airport is still shaping up but it is known to all,” he added.
Patil was a lawyer while his father was a teacher and farmer. They were residents of Panvel taluka where the airport is being constructed. He was a five-time MLA, once an MLC, and two-time MP. He had started his political career from the Peasants and Workers Party.
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