Mumbai Congress president slams Ashish Shelar for his comment that the opposition party was hand in glove with Shiv Sena
City Congress president Sanjay Nirupam addresses the media in Lokhandwala, Andheri, on Monday
After BJP’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar on Sunday said in a public rally that the Shiv Sena and Congress had joined hands to fix the upcoming civic polls, city Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam yesterday held a press conference and threw an open challenge to the BJP to prove its allegation.
“BJP Mumbai unit chief is not aware that several BJP leaders are in touch with me to ensure Sena’s defeat. But our party’s agenda is to defeat the saffron alliance (Sena-BJP), and for that, we don’t have to get into any filthy politics. I openly challenge the BJP to give the names of the candidates who are supposed to be involved in fixing the polls with us,” said Nirupam.
He claimed that the BJP was making such statements to confuse people and hide its own failure in running the state and the city. Hitting out at the BJP on its recently launched portal ‘Our city our agenda’, Nirupam said, “The BJP is doing a drama by asking people what needs to be improved in the city. After ruling for almost 20 years, it still doesn’t know Mumbai’s basic needs.”
Nirupam claimed that Congress would remove the charge for 10,000 litres of water and also set up BMC canteens across the city to provide meals to citizens for just Rs 20.
“Our focus is to provide basic facilities, like proper roads, water, hospitals and schools to citizens. If our party wins, we will provide water for free as well as full meals to people for just R20,” he said.
And despite knowing the huge losses the BEST Undertaking has been making, the Congress also promised to give free transport passes to students till graduation.
The party also claimed that it would resolve pothole problems within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. “The pothole-filling machine is rusting in the BMC office. If we win, our party will set up a quick response team in each ward to resolve pothole complaints within 24 hours,” claimed Nirupam.
The party has also promised to give free annual medical check-ups for women aged 20 to 40, as well as set up water ATMs across the city to dispense 1-litre bottles for R1.
The party went even ahead of Sena with respect to promises on property tax. Where Sena had promised a tax rebate on 500-700 sq ft carpet area, Congress said it will slash property tax by 50% for residences above 700 sq ft, while those less than 700 sq ft won’t have to pay any at all.