MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday alleged that the state-enforced plastic ban was a basically a campaign to raise election funds from affected plastic manufacturers. He appealed to the people not to cough up the fine as authorities such as the BMC and the state government had failed to perform their duties. He also slammed environment minister Ramdas Kadam for making personal comments and asked him to be responsible for his work.
Mr Thackeray was addressing a press conference in the city to clear his stand on the plastic ban. He said that the purpose of the plastic ban was dubious. “I am told by some people that this ban is basically to arrange election funds from plastic manufacturing companies. A few traders have been contacted regarding this. People will forget about the ban after one month. Everything will come back to normal like earlier. Meanwhile, these people will get money from plastic manufacturers,” he said.
Mr Thackeray urged people not to pay the fine to the authorities. “I am saying that there is no need to pay the fine to the government for carrying plastic bags. Authorities like the BMC and the state government have failed to do their work. So, to hide their failure, they are extracting huge sums from people. Why should people pay? Nobody carries `5,000 in his or her pocket,” he said.
The MNS chief clarified that while he did not oppose the idea of the plastic ban, there was so much confusion about exactly which items had been banned.
Replying to Mr Kadam’s taunt about him being afraid of his nephew, Aaditya Thackeray, since the ban was originally the latter’s idea, the MNS chief said, “Mr Kadam should not poke his nose into family matters. He should not worsen already disturbed relations. Instead, he should focus on governance.”