Congress attacks saffron combine, says Mumbai is loser in BJP-Sena argument over open spaces policy
The infighting between saffron allies, BJP and the Shiv Sena went a step further on Saturday when the BJP demanded that the RG/PG policy (public recreation grounds and play grounds) be re-opened for discussion in the general assembly. This after the CM has already directed the municipal commissioner to review the policy. The BJP is trying to paint the Sena as villain since it was the Sena that has been supportive of the policy from the start.
BJP corporator and MLA Ameet Satam said since he could not attend the Improvements Committee meeting on January 13 when the policy was passed, he had written to the municipal secretary to allow a re-discussion on the proposal. “I have demanded a re-discussion to ensure that open spaces remain open to the public forever and not be taken over by land sharks,” Satam said in a statement released later. Corporators have the right to ask for a re-discussion on issues that are discussed at a meeting they weren’t present for. However, as per rules, the re-discussion can only happen after a period of three months.
His Sena counterpart Yashodhar Phanse was more blunt. “Is Ameet Satam an MLA or a corporator? If he thought the policy was flawed, it was going to be reviewed in the assembly anyway. As an MLA, he could have challenged it there. I think he doesn’t wish that a discussion happen in the Assembly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress got an opportunity to slam the saffron combine. Congress corporator Asif Zakaria said, “They are a confused lot. The BJP is playing to the galleries. There was a similar uproar about the draft DP and then there was an announcement that it will be scrapped. What happened? It had returned with minor changes. The two parties have differences among themselves and are holding the city to ransom because of the rift.”