BJP corporator from Shukrawar Peth Ashok Yenpure, who is openly supporting an encroachment by well-known traditional gymnasium Chinchechi Talim in the area and claiming the unauthorised construction is in the public interest, was seen shouting slogans against the mushrooming of illegal structures in the city along with his fellow party members in front of the PMC building last evening.
At the demonstration organised by the local BJP unit, party members resorted to a ghanta-nad, or ringing of bells, to highlight the issue of encroachments and illegal constructions in the city. Yenpure, who is also the group leader of the party in the civic house, enthusiastically took part in the protest against builders who have gone in for illegal constructions in the riverbeds and nullahs of the city.
MiD DAY has been highlighting the issue of illegal encroachment by Chinchechi Talim for over a month now, but no action has been taken by the PMC till date. The civic body has done little more than sending two notices to Chinchechi Talim asking it to get rid of the illegal construction.
The activist who first blew the lid off the illegal construction with an RTI query was also reportedly paid a visit by Yenpure some days ago. The corporator allegedly put pressure on the activist in a bid to make him reconsider his stand against the encroachment by the gymnasium.
BJP city chief Vikas Mathkari said he was not aware of the encroachment by Chinchechi Talim. “The protest was organised against the illegal constructions on the riverbeds and nullah. If anyone is supporting any illegal construction, then the party will never ignore the matter,” Mathkari said.
Though BJP MLA Girish Bapat had also made an assurance that he would look into the Chinchechi Talim matter, work on the illegal structure being constructed by it has still not stopped. Yenpure did not budge from his stand on the Chinchechi Talim issue when confronted with the dichotomy between what he was saying at the protest and what he was doing with the talim encroachment.
“The process to regularise the ongoing construction at Chinchechi Talim is on and we are hopeful it will get done as soon as possible,” he said. RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said that Yenpure’s example was enough to show how political parties have double standards on issues that matter to citizens.