Chipi : The Chipi airport in the picturesque coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra was inaugurated on Saturday, in an event which saw arch rivals Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister Narayan Rane sharing the stage and taking potshots at each other.
This is probably for the first time that the two former party colleagues-turned-opponents shared the stage after Rane”s exit from the Shiv Sena, of which Thackeray is the president.
During the event, Rane, who hails from Sindhudurg, listed out the work done by him since he was elected as an MLA from the district for the first time in 1990.
The BJP leader said it was under the directions of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray that he was deputed to this region.
Rane said it was due to his efforts that Konkan got an infrastructure boost.
Taking a jibe at Thackeray, Rane said the late Shiv Sena supremo never liked people lying.
Hitting back at Rane, Thackeray said, “Balasahab did not like lying. So several times, such people were kicked out of the Shiv Sena. (Bal Thackeray would say) Even if the truth is bitter, please say it.”
“As per my understanding, Sindhudurg fort was built by (Shivaji) Maharaj or someone will say I did it,” Thackeray said, apparently taking an aim at Rane over his comment that all the infrastructure boost the region received was due to him.
“You (Rane) are a minister. So what if it is micro and small, but it is an important portfolio and you will use it to benefit Maharashtra,” the CM said.
Thackeray said there should be a heliport at Chipi, which can be used for tourism.
Rane, the Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister, was arrested by the Maharashtra police in August over his comments against the chief minister. He was later granted bail by the court.
Since his exit from the Sena in 2005, for which he blamed Thackeray, the two have been at loggerheads.
Speaking on the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said thanks to this airport, a distance of 530 kms from Mumbai can now be covered in 50 minutes only.