Incident comes after it moved Supreme Court for permission to hold the event at Girgaum Chowpatty
The Maharashtra government was left with egg on its face on Sunday after a fire at Girgaum Chowpatty on Sunday. The embarrassment comes after the government had moved the Supreme Court challenging Bombay High Court’s denial of permission to hold the cultural programme at the site.
Addressing the Maharashtra Night from the stage just minutes before the fire started, Mr Fadnavis said the event was aimed at showcasing the financial capital as an art, literature, culture and entertainment capital.
He said that the event would give wing to the dreams of six crore youths of Maharashtra by interlinking sectors such as agriculture, services and industry, boosted by skill development and research initiatives.
However, minutes later, he had to allay fears about the continuation of the event.
“The incident will not impact the Make In India programme, which will take place as planned,” Mr Fadnavis said. “All the programmes will be held as per schedule. If required, we will take more precautionary measures against fire incidents.”
Opposition slams government
Calling it an unfortunate accident at a time when the entire country is watching Mumbai, the Opposition minced no words while criticising the government for its “shoddy” management of such a prestigious event.
“The Bombay High Court had denied the permission to hold such events for this particular reason,” said Sachin Ahir, Mumbai president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). “However, the government was hell-bent on this venue and approached Supreme Court. This is the result of the government’s overzealousness.”
He demanded that the government must fix the responsibility of this fire by conducting an inquiry.
The Congress too slammed the State government saying the government cannot even protect the stage built for Make In India.
“What kind of management is this?” asked Sanjay Nirupam, president, Mumbai Congress. “Had it not been for police and fire brigade, the incident could have turned into major tragedy. How can such shoddy arrangements ensure big investments in the stage?”
Nirupam said that only safe and conducive environment can bring industries to the State.
Thousands of Mumbaikars and who’s who of the city were present at the Chowpatty for the festivities.
The star-studded event saw megastar Amitabh Bachchan recite a poem ‘Pranam Hai’ in the honour of Maharashtra.
Notably, superstar Aamir Khan, who recently removed as the brand ambassador of Incredible India campaign, made an appearance at the event. Mr Khan was was embroiled in controversy after his remarks on intolerance. His presence came in the backdrop of his meeting with the PM.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said Mumbai and Maharashtra have always been “aggressors” in India’s development. “What happens in Mumbai has global implications. The world’s attention is on Mumbai and Maharashtra.”