Mumbai: Slighted by BJP jibe, Shiv Sena tries to get civic act together

The past few days have seen both allies launching verbal volleys at each other; reacting to the BJP’s latest jibe, telling the Sena to revive the BMC, Thackeray exhorted party workers on Sunday to clean up the city, and combat the mosquito menace

The war of words between allies Shiv Sena and the BJP is threatening to snowball into a major confrontation. After the BJP told the Sena on Saturday to focus on getting the civic body back into shape, the latter has taken the BJP’s jibe on the functioning of the BMC very seriously. The BJP seems to have touched a raw nerve in the Sena.

Uddhav Thackeray speaks to party workers at a function in Rang Sharda auditorium, Bandra (West). Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Uddhav Thackeray speaks to party workers at a function in Rang Sharda auditorium, Bandra (West). Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

On Sunday, Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting of party corporators at the Rang Sharda auditorium, Bandra (West), and exhorted party workers to clean up the city and curb the mosquito menace. Not only this, Thackeray also asked them to organise medical camps every weekend to keep diseases like malaria, dengue and leptospirosis in check.

Since last week, after the cause of death of 16 people in the city was traced to leptospirosis, the BMC has been seen in bad light. The Congress, of course, has attacked the Sena, but what was seen as rubbing salt into the wound, was when the BJP attacked the Sena, in spite of both bodies sharing power in the civic body.

Sena speak
According to Avkash Jadhav, Shiv Sena corporator, in Sunday’s meeting, Thackeray was categorical about corporators taking down the message to party workers to see to it that the city remains clean, and there are no breeding spots for mosquitoes in Mumbai.

“We believe in working for the people; the message from our party leadership was that, we keep the city clean and see to it that the mosquito menace is under control. Our corporators and party workers will see to it that it is done properly. Also, from next weekend, starting from the western suburbs, we will have a medical camp in every area,” said Jadhav.

Jadhav claims his party believes in working rather than merely making statements and hence, his party leadership was specifically talking about keeping the city safe from the mosquito menace.

It’s getting worse
However, over the past few days, things don’t seem to be well between both allies, especially with each side taking a dig on each other. While Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP president, is leading from the front for his party, the Sena is upset that no one from the BJP leadership is trying to control him, thus giving the whole attack an official colour.

Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader claimed that there is no opposition to what Shelar is doing, from the party. Hence, it seems that the alliance isn’t in good shape. Even in the BMC, the BJP is seen distancing itself from the Sena, and a cold war has started now, over the night market proposal of BJP’s Ameet Satam; the BJP had tried to stop the Sena’s rooftop restaurant proposal.

According to sources, Thackeray took a jibe at the waterlogging that New Delhi has been witnessing, taking a potshot at the BJP, which runs the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. A source from the Sena claims that for the party, the BMC is important, and in no way would it let the civic body go away from its control, and hence this new diktat for corporators, as they are the closest to the ground-level workers, after shakha pramukhs.

Now it is being said that Sena will oppose the BJP’s night market proposal in the BMC house on Monday, as they think it’s a security hazard. Sena leader Jadhav has already spoken against the idea.

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