Talk about stealing the thunder. Shiv Sena supporters have now ruffled the BJP's feathers by hijacking the credit for the central government's decision to allow commercial establishments to run 24x7. A number of them have taken to social media to thank Aaditya Thackeray for the nod.
Justifying the praise coming Aaditya's way, party spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, "The party is proud of him. He has shown that he's a visionary leader. Many in the party look up to him. He's taking a lot of effort to work for the youth. With eateries and khau gallis open 24x7, the youth will have more opportunities. An active nightlife will make Mumbai's streets safer for women. Both the CM and Uddhavji have good relations and we hope that the cleared proposal will be implemented soon."
As expected, the limelight hogging isn't sitting well with the BJP. Sanjay Upadhyay, state secretary of the BJP, said partymen "doesn't know how to react to Sena's celebrations". "It (the clearance) is a good move by the government at the Centre, led by the BJP. But, we don't know how to react to someone celebrating someone else's success."
Months to go
Meanwhile, retail traders claim that the idea of 24x7 entertainment in Mumbai will take at least a few months to be implemented. At present, shops are allowed to stay open from 5 am-11 pm, and restaurants till 1.30 am. Viren Shah of the Federation of Retailer Traders Welfare Association said, "Even if everything is processed quickly, it will still take a month. The CM will have to convene talks with the police and labour departments. Security and many other things will have to be worked out before the CM gives his nod."
He pointed out that the final call on implementing the policy rests with the CM. "The plan is different from Aaditya's night zones proposal (sent to the CM last year) as pubs will still have to follow a deadline. The proposal is only for restaurants, shops, malls and cinemas. I don't think the government will take a stand on extending the deadline to serve alcohol."
Hoteliers' group Hotel And Restaurant Association (AHAR), too, cautioned that the process for implementation might drag on for some time. "We are happy as we will be able to cater to a larger audience now. But, we know at what speed such policies move. It will take some time, but Mumbai will be able to live up to its name of the city that never sleeps," said Niranjan Shetty, chairman of AHAR's BMC committee.