Mumbai: Shiv Sena, BJP fight to take credit for 'bright' idea

While Ashish Shelar tweeted on Wednesday saying he was glad that his idea of installing LED bulbs in streetlights was proposed in the BMC budget, Sena supporters tweeted a mid-day article to prove that their corporator had mooted it over a year ago

This is one controversy that refuses to sputter out. Days after the white LED streetlights at Marine Drive led to a war of words between Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray and BJP’s Ashish Shelar, Wednesday saw the two parties fighting to take credit for the bright idea.

Sheetal Mhatre Ashish Shelar
Sheetal Mhatre and Ashish Shelar

While Shelar, who is the city head of the BJP, seemed to claim on Twitter that replacing the sodium vapour bulbs with LED ones in streetlights had been his idea, Shiv Sena supporters tweeted a mid-day article in response to prove that it had been mooted by Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre over a year ago.

January 3 last year. The link to last year’s report was being tweeted by Sena supporters
mid-day’s reports on January 24 this year

On Wednesday, Shelar had tweeted: “#BMCBudget Mumbai pet projects & my ideas proposed: Crisis Centre for women & LED lit city. Had worked hard for both.” Taking a dig at this tweet, Sena supporters began tweeting the link to an article published in mid-day on January 3 last year (‘Corporator wants all streetlights replaced’).mid-day’s reports on January 24 this year

January 3 last year. The link to last year’s report was being tweeted by Sena supporters

The report had stated that Sena Corporator Sheetal Mhatre had proposed the use of LED bulbs in streetlights to reduce the BMC’s electricity bill. Speaking to mid-day, Mhatre claimed that having suggested the use of LED lights in January 2014, she had been taking up the issue time and again with the appropriate authorities.

“Unlike Shelar, who didn’t follow protocol and bypassed the BMC, I was going through the legal and proper way for getting the LED lights. I don’t know why Shelar had to do this; he bypassed the Sena and the BMC in spite of us being in alliance.

He hadn’t even informed our Mayor during his press conference last month (announcing the use of LED bulbs in streetlights and of Marine Drive being the pilot) and we had raised strong objection against it,” said Mhatre.

“We will expose Shelar, who has taken credit for the lights, and will prove that it was originally our idea. We won’t let this go so easily and we will see to it that the truth comes out,” said another Sena leader.

'Action matters'
A BJP leader, however, claimed that the issue of using LED bulbs had been discussed in the house on several occasions. “It may be true that the Sena leader had proposed it, but what’s important is that we implemented it and never bypassed the BMC.

The BMC had been briefed about Shelar’s press conference,” he said. Speaking to mid-day yesterday, Shelar also took a U-turn. “If the Sena claims that it’s their idea, then it’s good. I am interested in the city’s development, not the idea,” he said.

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