Mumbai: Cleanliness drive turns dirty due to rowdy politicians

Both parties involved in the tiff accuse each other of misbehaviour during a Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan programme at Dahisar

A cleanliness drive in the Navagao area of Dahisar took an ugly turn when two fractions of a political party virtually came to blows on Saturday morning.

Corporator Abhishek Gosalkar at the dharna. Pic/Shailesh Bhatia

The incident occurred at around 11 am, near the Holy Cross area, when corporator Abhishek Gosalkar and his party men allegedly teamed up with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clean up the locality under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan programme. “The event was scheduled for 11 am. When I reached the venue five minutes late, I discovered that MLA Manisha Chaudhari had already proceeded with the cleanliness drive instead of doing the appropriate thing by waiting for me,” says Gosalkar. He further alleged that the MLA was not invited for the event and that a private contractor of the BMC, Deepak RA, brought her over. “He responded rudely to our questions, which led to the flare-up. My party men and Iwere assaulted. I was so disgusted by her (Chaudhari) actions that I sat down for a dharna on the spot, to seek justice.”

The other side
Denying the allegations, Chaudhari insisted that the cleanliness drive was a public event and that she was also an invitee. She alleged that it was Gosalkar who started misbehaving with her. “He was rude and abusive and I felt this was no way to talk to a lady, who is also an elected member of the constituency. I had other meetings fixed in the afternoon, so I am not responsible if someone shows up late,” she said.

Police speak
Police Inspector Anil Awad, of MHP police station described the incident as a clash of egos. “We took swift action before the situation could go out of hand. We diffused the situation by talking to both the groups,” he said. The police have filed a cross non-cognisable offence (NC) against both Gosalkar and Deepak, who was unavailable for comment.

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