Mumbai, Mar 11: Making light of MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s threat to burn the new autorickshaws whose permits have gone to ‘outsiders’, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said his government was duty-bound to protect all such auto drivers. Anyone meeting the stipulated conditions will get permits and it is the government’s duty to protect those who get these permits,” Fadnavis said at a meet-the-press at the state legislature complex here. “Our government doesn’t work for a company but for the common man,” Fadnavis said, in an apparent reply to Raj’s allegation that Bajaj Auto was set to make a huge profit from the sale of auto-rickshaws to new permit-holders. Also read: Sindhudurg SP Dattatray Shinde to be sent on compulsory leave: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

“There is no compulsion to buy auto from a particular company,” Fadnavis said. “People search for their place in politics. At such a time, these statements are made,” Fadnavis said. He also claimed that media gives the MNS chief “ten times more publicity” than he deserves. On concerns expressed by Shiv Sena MLA Arjun Khotkar and other legislators about upkeep of livetstock during drought, Fadnavis said: “If the state government feels that drought- affected farmers need to sell their livestock, nothing can be worse. “We have started fodder camps in the drought-affected areas,” he said.

“Beef ban is a constitutional decision. This is a right decision,” he said, referring to the criticism that due to the ban on slaughter of bulls (in addition to cows), animals can not be sold-off during the drought. The Chief Minister said the state cabinet had approved a policy to regularise illegal constructions on a mass scale in the state’s urban belts. It would apply to construction undertaken till December 31, 2015, he said. “This is a very comprehensive measure and will benefit the middle class,” he said. “I feel the Court will broadly agree with this policy,” he said.