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BJP hatching plan to remove slums, relocate its residents to salt pan lands: Aaditya Thackeray

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Mumbai, Mar 30 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday accused the BJP of hatching a plan to forcibly remove slums from Mumbai and relocate those living in them to salt pan lands.

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Addressing a news conference, Thackeray latched on to the remarks of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat.

In an interaction with a media house, Goyal had said if elected, he intends to pursue a project that would entirely clear his constituency, which comprises northern suburbs like Malad, Kandivali and Borivli, of slums.

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

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"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," Thackeray said.

"The BJP's policy is not to eradicate poverty, but poor people," alleged Thackeray, who was a minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi regime.

He alleged the BJP's ploy is to give all the saltpans 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.

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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.

However, the same saltpans are not now being used to rehabilitate slum dwellers, he added.

Thackeray also accused the BJP-led Centre of demoralising Mumbai and taking away businesses from the metropolis to its "favourite states". PTI PR BNM

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