CM's return gift: BJP sends notices to members who put up hoardings for his birthday

CM had issued a diktat that no member should put out hoardings, banners or advertisements wishing him on his birthday; instead they should donate the money to a scheme for drought-hit areas

The days of political party members currying favour with seniors by putting up banners and hoardings to celebrate their birthdays seem to be finally drawing to a close.

The advertisement, wishing Fadnavis, published in a newspaper by Darekar on July 22
The advertisement, wishing Fadnavis, published in a newspaper by Darekar on July 22

The Bharatiya Janata Party has sent notices to a few leaders, including MLAs, for not following Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis diktat that no member would put up hoarding or publish any advertisement wishing him on his birthday, which was on July 22. He he had asked for the money to be donated for a scheme to help the drought-hit instead.

A new entrant to the party, Pravin Darekar, from Mumbai and MLA Nanda Mhatre from Navi Mumbai, have been issued the notice.

The offenders have been asked to contribute an amount equivalent to what they spent on hoardings or ads gave, to the CM’s scheme.

Fadnavis had clearly stated before his birthday that no one should put up any hoarding and, instead, donate the money to his scheme, Jalyut, to help drought affected areas. However, some people didn’t toe the line and put up posters and issued advertisements. This didn’t go down well with the CM, leading to the notices.

New face
Darekar, who shifted to the BJP from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, had issued an advertisement in a newspaper, wishing the CM on his birthday. He confirmed that he received a notice from the party and has even replied to it.

“I have replied to the notice. I will make whatever contribution has to be made from my side to the chief minister’s scheme,” said Darekar.

Mhatre, however, claimed that she had nothing to do with the banner she had been issued the notice for. She said her photo had been used on the banner that wished the chief minister a happy birthday.

“The banner was put up by the local corporator. Being an MLA, my picture featured on the banner. I had nothing to do with it. The corporator has even replied to the notice and will make necessary amends to rectify the mistake,” said Mhatre.

'Harsh' notice
A senior party functionary claimed that people weren’t expecting this harsh a notice from the party, as earlier, too, many leaders had issued a no-hoarding diktat, but had never taken any action against the violators. They said this has to be the first time, when action is being taken.

Even Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who will be celebrating his birthday on July 27, has asked his party workers not to put up banners. Many from the Sena are organising blood donation camps on his birthday.

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