The inauguration of Chipi greenfield airport in Sindhudurg district around 1 pm today could be witness to fireworks between Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union Minister Narayan Rane. Prior to the inauguration, Rane has already increased the ante, threatening to expose “some culprits”.
By the way, Thackeray and Rane, known for their bitter rivalry, will be sitting next to each other during the event. The Shiv Sena leader said this will be the first time the two leaders will share a platform in 16 years.
Before inaugurating the airport, Rane Thursday targeted the Sena and said it would expose those leaders who committed themselves to extortion tactics. This morning, however, Rane was somewhat toned down as he said, “BJP by its side will do nothing to create problems in the ordination function.”
Rane claimed that Chipi airport had come up completely because of his effort and that the Shiv Sena had no part to play. “The airport happened because of me. The aviation minister at the time, Praful Patel, had approved the construction of the airport after I cleared some revenue-related issues in his Gondia district. The Sena has not even made a one per cent contribution … I have secured the development of the region but the Sena leaders did nothing but commit themselves to corruption. The airport will provide a major boost to the development of the local economy. It will encourage more tourism in the Konkan area, ”he said.
District Guard Minister Uday Samant said, “The seating arrangements of the two leaders have been made in accordance with the protocol. The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has cleared the seating arrangements and the list of invitees. When it comes to taking credit, no-one should commit to such things. The airport development will provide a major fill for Konkan development. ”