Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday that he is not “stealing” any business from Maharashtra. Adityanath, who was on a one-day visit to Mumbai to attract investors, said the setting up of a film city in the state an “open competition”. The UP CM’s statement comes a day after his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray said that he will not allow anyone to take business out of Maharashtra.
There’s a tussle between the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh over the alleged plot of the latter to move the film industry out of Mumbai. Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Wednesday asked if UP CM is going to visit other cities where the film industry is big or is he targeting only Mumbai.
Speaking to press at the end of marathon meetings with business leaders, investors and film personalities, the UP CM said that his government is building a “world-class” film city in Noida, which will be well-connected by road and air with Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, etc.
“The new film city will be built on a 1000-acre plot 6km from the proposed Noida international greenfield airport in Jewar. It will be connected to Delhi, Mathura-Vrindavan, Agra and state capital Lucknow. The interest shown by the people associated with the film industry is a good sign,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Raut said, “It is not easy to move the film city out of Mumbai. Attempts have been made earlier also, but how will you recreate the atmosphere of Mumbai in UP and Bihar. Is he going to visit other cities in south India, West Bengal as they have big film industry or is he only locking horns with Mumbai?” Raut also asked Yogi Adityanath on the prospect of film city in Uttar Pradesh.
“How can anybody take away anything from somebody. It is not a wallet to steal. This is an open competition and whoever can give a secure atmosphere, better facilities and most importantly, social security in which all people can work… The film city in Mumbai will continue to work. A film city in UP will be built as per the requirement, in a new atmosphere,” said Yogi.
Responding to Raut’s question through the media, Adityanath said, “We have not come to take anything. We are building a new [film city]. Why are you so worried? We are giving a world-class infrastructure.”
He also held meetings with companies interested in investing in his state, including N Chandrasekaran, chairman Tata Sons, Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD Hiranandani group, and Baba N Kalyani of Kalyani Group. “I also met with companies who are interested in investing or have invested in the defence manufacturing corridor, including Adani Defence, L&T Defence, Mahindra Defence, Hinduja, Seimens etc. Their suggestions have been taken. For the film city, we spoke to personalities from the industry about their requirements,” he said.
The chief minister also listed Rs 200 crore bond of Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the first civic body in north India. “Uttar Pradesh has the highest municipal bodies in the country. Nearly 80 million population lives in urban areas. In a bid to provide better infrastructure and facilities we have listed bond for Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the first civic body in north India. After Lucknow, we will inspire Ghaziabad to do the same. This move will help bring in transparency and financial discipline in their workings, along with creating healthy competition,” he said.