At a time when the BJP wants to replicate its success in the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) by enforcing an extended ban on the sale of meat during the Jain fast Paryushan in the city as well, the Shiv Sena, which is opposed to the move, is planning to crack down on its corporators in MBMC.
Currently, meat cannot be sold in BMC limits on the four days of the Paryushan period — September 10, 13, 17 and 18. The BJP seeks to increase this to nine days. Pic for representation
Four corporators from the Shiv Sena, which is part of the ruling dispensation in the MBMC along with the BJP, had remained absent when the decision on the ban on meat sale for eight days was being taken there on Friday and the party has, since then, been facing flak for indirectly supporting the BJP by allowing the proposal to pass.
Sources in the Sena said yesterday that the party has asked the corporators to explain their absence and has threatened to take action. MLA Pratap Sarnaik, the Sena in-charge for Mira-Bhayander said, “The party has issued a show-cause notice to the corporators and asked them why they had remained absent when an illegal ban restricting people from eating meat in a city was put to vote.
The Sena had opposed the move by the BJP in the MBMC, but they managed to get the proposal passed. The Sena’s stand is that we do not stop people from eating what they want.” “After we receive the replies, we will decide on the action to be taken against the corporators,” he added. The BJP has 30 corporators in the House of the MBMC while the Sena has 15. The total strength is 94.
A leader from the party said that some Sena corporators in the MBMC support a local BJP MLA instead of Sarnaik and they may have remained absent because the proposal was a BJP one.
Vote bank game
In an attempt to retain its vote bank within the Jain community, the BJP is going the extra mile in the city by asking for a nine-day ban on sale of meat during Paryushan — which is one more than it managed to get in Mira-Bhayander. It isn’t finding much support for the move, however, with not only ally Sena but even the MNS and the Samajwadi Party being opposed to the move.
Even the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are in favour of maintaining the status quo on the issue, which is to stick to the four-day ban — September 10, 13, 17 and 18 — which is in place in city limits, two on the state government’s orders and two based on an order by the BMC.
Sources from the Sena said the party is opposed to the nine-day ban also because Shravan comes to an end on September 13 and Kolis and Maharashtrians, who are a key part of the Sena’s vote bank and don’t eat meat during the holy month, will be unhappy if they are prevented from eating non-vegetarian food even after that.
Dilip Patel, Senior BJP leader said, “We want a ban on meat on the lines of Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation for nine days. As a minority community, we can do this much for the Jains.” The BJP will take up the matter in the House on September 10.
Sandeep Deshpande, group leader of MNS, said, “Whoever wants to consume meat during this period can do it and people can sell it as well. If someone is stopped from doing so, they can contact the MNS. The BJP is the Bharatiya Jain Party.”
Group leader of the Samajwadi Party, Rais Shaikh, said, “Such bans shouldn’t be imposed as it amounts to trying to control the food choices of the people.”
Senior Congress Corporator Pravin Chheda said, “We want to stick to the four-day ban that is in place.”