On Thursday, Prince Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray made a controversial statement defending the endemic link between politicians and builders in the state, saying it should be viewed “positively”.
Speaking at the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) Real Estate Forum, Aaditya Thackeray claimed that politicians and developers sell common things such as hopes and dreams, and there is always a politician-builder connection. , but it must be seen “positively”. ‘.
There is a connection between politicians and builders, but it must be seen in a positive light. We were able to reduce stamp duties and premiums through this link. Politicians and developers sell common things. We both sell hopes and dreams: Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray at an event (28.04) pic.twitter.com/gV9Gft48hf
— ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2022
Junior Thackeray defended his statement saying that the MVA government of Maharashtra was only able to reduce stamp duty and premiums because of this link.
“Politicians and developers sell common things. We are both selling hopes and dreams,” said Aaditya Thackeray.
Aaditya Thackeray also said that when something goes wrong, the media blames the builder-politician link, but it was the government that revived the real estate industry.
“We invite you to work with the government. Politicians and developers sell common things. We both sell hopes and dreams. People’s basic hope is to have their own home,” he said.
He also spoke about Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) permits for projects and said he aimed to digitize the process so that builders did not have to queue outside a minister’s office. The minister also asked developers to build a better city.
The normalization of the political-builder link by Prince Sena Aaditya Thackeray, especially with Maharashtra being one of the epicenters of multiple real estate scams and criminal cases in the country, has drawn a strong reaction among the citizens.
It should be noted here that it is usually the dynasty’s other prince of politics, Rahul Gandhi, who grabs the headlines for his controversial statements exposing his own party. Rahul Gandhi has in the past made statements hoping to attack the BJP which were actually personal goals of the failed Congress party.
Politics-Builder Link in Maharashtra
The builder-politics nexus has become a significant threat to the development of real estate and infrastructure in the country. Politicians, bureaucrats, big builders and the land mafia often control the real estate market.
Politicians hoard resources using corrupt means while in office and funnel funds into real estate to avoid public scrutiny. Builders invest politicians’ money to develop real estate and redirect it to the political class during elections in the form of illegal campaign financing.
This nexus between the political builder class not only created an artificial scarcity of land, but also drove genuine buyers away from buying affordable homes in big cities.
Maharashtra is known for having a notorious connection between politicians and builders, centered around the financial capital of Mumbai. Wealthy politicians in Maharashtra have found their footing in real estate, making property developers their perfect partners.
Apparently, land scams were so common in Maharashtra during Sharad Pawar’s chief ministry that he de-reserved prime plots for certain beneficiaries. During his tenure as chief minister, he had converted the Vasai-Virar green belt into a residential area, whereby thousands of acres of land were illegally freed up for housing.
Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, who served as chief minister from 1995 to 1999, lost his job after a court ruled he favored his son-in-law, a builder, to build a township in Pune. The next biggest scandal was Adarsh Housing, in which Congress politicians including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan acquired apartments for themselves and their family members when land was approved for the widows of Kargil war.
Recently, in 2019, NCP leader Praful Patel was accused of conducting property deals with gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his associates. Patel is said to have had close ties to the Maharashtra underworld and builder mafia. The ED had accused Patel of collusion with mobster Iqbal Mirchi, who transferred two floors of Mumbai’s Ceejay House to the mobster.
Recently, the ED had attached properties worth Rs 11.5 crore of Shiv Sena chief Sanjay Raut for his alleged involvement in the 1034 crore Patra Chawl FSI fraud case.