Senior BJP leader LK Advani paid a visit to the Bandra Fair yesterday, and paid homage to Mother Mary.
In the city to attend a programme, he accepted the invitation extended to him by Desmond D'Souza, a local politician.
Advani, who was accompanied by an entourage of cops and security officials said, "It was a fortunate coincidence for me to be in Mumbai during the fair. I studied in a Roman Catholic institution, and feel that the community is a peace loving one." His visit, however, gave rise to much consternation among visitors, who claimed that they could not visit the shrine as the gates were closed during Advani's visit.
Vasai resident Yolande Fonseca said, "I came with my little kids to pay homage to our Lady, and suffered. The entire area was condoned off, and we had to wait for almost an hour before we could enter the Church."
Pramila D'Souza, whose stall had been demolished by BMC officials, said, "We wanted to meet Advani to tell him about our problems, but the police stopped us. All our things are lying in the garden, and we cannot sell them."