Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena party on Saturday released its manifesto. During the launch of the same, Yuva Sena President Aaditya Thackeray said that the party will soon release a region manifesto for Mumbai. He also stated that in the Mumbai region manifesto, the promise to declared Aarey as a forest would be mentioned.
During the manifesto launch, Aaditya Thackeray said, "We haven’t put out Mumbai region Manifesto, We will release our Region Manifesto soon, where we have mentioned that Aarey should be declared as a Forest. Shivsena is with Aarey."
The Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also expressed his views on Aarey. "I’m ready to talk about Aarey and I want every political parties to conduct a meeting and should discuss Aarey... Shiv Sena is against the action happened in Aarey... We will discuss this issue for sure and on priorities," he said.
Earlier, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) has promised that it will not cut more trees in Aarey as per the Supreme Court's order, however, the clearing of felled trees will continue at the site. "We respect the order of the Supreme Court passed today. No future tree felling activity at the car shed site in Aarey Milk Colony will be undertaken. Other works, including clearing of already felled trees, will continue at the site," MMRCL spokesperson said in an official statement. The MMRCL has cut down 2141 trees out of its target of 2185 prior to Supreme Court's stay.
A protest which was being carried out over a few weeks escalated in the last week when activists tried to sabotage the activity of tree felling. As many as 29 activists were under arrest on Saturday for restricting the activity of tree felling and the police cordoned off the area. The protestors filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the High court order, which was heard on October 7.
The Apex court passed a stay order prohibiting MMRCL from further tree felling, maintaining the status quo of the Aarey colony. MMRCL had severed off 2141 trees out of a total of 2185 trees initially planned to chop off until the Supreme Court order to prohibit the tree felling activity further. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for October 21.
Aaditya has recently filed his nomination to contest the State Assembly polls from the Worli constituency. He has been taking a stand against the felling of trees in the Aarey colony for a long time and recently criticised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for supporting the cutting down of trees.
The Chief Minister, replying to the young Thackeray's comments, said that the latter's intentions were noble, but he was not aware of the true intentions of those who are protesting. He also added that the State government had decided to plant 13,000 trees in place of the trees that will be cut. He also termed the project "carbon ultra-positive project".