BJP, RPI blame Sena's 'ego' for skipping Modi events

Sena says their chief is in Beed district touring drought affected areas; BJP and RPI workers say, by boycotting the events, the party has shown their ego is more important

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday did the bhoomipujan of Andheri East-Dahisar and Dahisar-D N Nagar Metro lines at MMRDA grounds in BKC, Shiv Sena leaders boycotted the event and were conspicuous by their absence. However, Sena leaders said chief Uddhav Thackeray was in Beed district touring drought-affected areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, RPI president Ramdas Athawale and Minister for Higher and Technical Education Vinod Tawde at the bhoomipujan for two new Metro lines at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) yesterday. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, RPI president Ramdas Athawale and Minister for Higher and Technical Education Vinod Tawde at the bhoomipujan for two new Metro lines at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) yesterday. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Sources said that the Sena is known for getting large number of supporters for their events. However, on Sunday it was seen that the BJP and Republican Party of India had done their groundwork, and also brought as many people as possible in private buses, which included not only children but also senior citizens.

These people were brought from different neighbouring villages, towns and cities. The 4 hectares MMRDA ground had about 42,000 people attending the function, an official said. “We showed the Shiv Sena leadership that we can get our people in their own backyard, just a little distance from Matoshree,” said a BJP leader.

The national party also emphasized the fact that they had more MLAs in the government than Sena, and so boycotting their leader’s event was a bad move. Meanwhile, BJP leaders said by skipping a function vital for Mumbai’s transportation needs, the Shiv Sena has only shown that their ego is more important than anything else.

There were also talks among BJP and RPI party workers, that by boycotting such an event just because of their ego, the Shiv Sena has proven that they are very narrow minded. “Today was an important day as not only bhoomipujan of two new metro lines was done, but the bhoomipujan for the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial was also done, and by boycotting such an important event where PM Narendra Modi was himself present, the Shiv Sena’s image has been damaged in the minds of the general public,” said a local RPI leader.

Uddhav in Marathwada
A Shiv Sena leader said, “The reason we decided to boycott the programme, is because BJP sent the invitation to Uddhavji on Saturday, which was less than 24 hours before it. Our leader is on a visit to the drought affected Beed district in Marathwada region, along with other ministers from the party, and due to the step motherly treatment given to us, we all decided to boycott the event. For us our self respect is more important than anything else.”

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “All our senior leaders and ministers, along with Uddhavji, have been on a tour of the drought affected Marathwada region. We have been touring the drought-affected areas and distributing aid to farmers, as this is more important for us, and our programme was decided in advance.

Today we were in Beed district. Helping those who are in need, and doing social work has been in our blood and very close to our heart, and that is why we have been touring the drought affected areas in Marathwada.”

Grand memorial for Dr Ambedkar
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has been appointed as a special planning authority for the memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, on 12 acres of Indu Mill land which will include various facilities such as an assembly hall, an auditorium, a museum, library, landscaped gardens, public square, souvenir shops, eateries, administrative offices, staff quarters, parking area etc.

Metro corridors
The MMRDA will also implement two Metro corridor projects — Dahisar to D N Nagar and Dahisar (East) to Andheri (East). The 18.5 km Dahisar to D N Nagar elevated Metro corridor will have 17 stations and its estimated cost is Rs 4,994 crore and the 16.5-km Dahisar (East) to Andheri (East) elevated Metro corridor which will have 16 stations and will cost Rs 4,737 crore.

Dahisar to D N Nagar Metro Corridor
>> System designed for 8-coach trains
>> Expected daily riders — 4.07 lakh in 2021
>> The estimated cost of the project — Rs 4,994 crore

Dahisar (East) to Andheri (East) Metro corridor
>> System designed for 8-coach trains
>> Expected daily riders — 5.29 lakh in 2021
>> The estimated cost of the project – Rs 4,737 crore

Modi on Ambedkar
Speaking on the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial, PM Modi said, “The world should know about Babasaheb Ambedkar, and they should know about his life and the struggle he went through. If Babasaheb Ambedkar was not there, I would have not reached the position where I am today. Babasaheb had said educate yourself and it should be your religion.”

He said, “There should be a green patch that should come up near the memorial and around 40,000 villages from Maharashtra should come and each plant a tree near the memorial. All the states of the country should come and plant a tree each and this should also be done by all the countries of the world.”

Reservation is on
“There are some groups which have been spreading rumours, that if we come to power, we would end reservation. I don’t know why these people are spreading such rumours. All I have to say, is that I have seen poverty and struggle, and I know how it is. We will take everyone along with us,” Modi said. Modi also praised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and said, “Devendra Fadnavis is a successful CM.”

Cases quashed
Speaking on the occasion, Fadnavis said, “By 2019, we will see to it that the 108-km Metro corridor will be completed in Mumbai. All other modes of transport will be integrated, and the commuter will be able to travel with a single card. We will put in our best possible efforts to improve the metropolitan region too.” Fadnavis also declared, “All cases filed against RPI workers and Ambedkar followers during their agitations to get the Indu Mill land allocated for the memorial, will be quashed.”

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