Youth Congress members are bent on tearing apart the restaurant that criticised the scams in the Congress-led UPA government with a joke on its tax regime. The youth wing of the ruling party at the Centre has written to the BMC, complaining about illegal construction at Aditi Pure Veg restaurant in Parel.
“We carried out our protest against the restaurant peacefully after informing the Bhoiwada police. It was the police who shut the eatery out of fear of violence, not us, but the restaurant owner is talking to news channels saying we acted like goons. We have now (on Monday evening) approached the BMC regarding the illegal construction at his establishment,” said Omshree Kadam, secretary, south central district Congress committee.
Congress members say the restaurateur has been put up to the task of defaming the Congress-led government by opposition parties. “The Shiv Sena-BJP combine ruling at the BMC is with the restaurant owner, and they are trying to do everything to defame our government through him.
Despite our letter to the BMC regarding the illegal construction at the eatery, the civic body did not do anything because the owner works for their parties,” said Ganesh Kumar Yadav, president, Mumbai Youth Congress.
MiD DAY yesterday reported in its cover story how some 30 Youth Congress members swamped the restaurant crying defamation because its bills have this text printed on them: ‘As per UPA government eating money (2G, Coal, CWG scam) is a necessity and eating food in AC restaurant is a luxury’.
The Bhoiwada police started investigating the matter after filing a non-cognisable complaint (NC) lodged by the Congress members against Srinivas Shetty, owner of Aditi restaurant. But after the furore, the Bhoiwada police have now lodged a case against the Congress workers under section 135 of the Bombay Police Act, for unlawful assembly.
“Shetty has not registered any complaint and has settled the matter, but Congress members have registered an NC under IPC section 501. Our aim is to investigate if Shetty did it on purpose or if he is affiliated to any other party. Though we think it was just the service tax issue that had angered Shetty,” said an officer from Bhoiwada police station.
Shetty had yesterday told this paper that he, as many other restaurateurs, was disgruntled with the Centre’s decision to introduce service tax for eating at all AC restaurants, which is burdensome for the industry. He had also said that he had a right to express his views in a free country.
“India being a democracy everybody has freedom subject to restrictions that don’t hurt anybody’s sentiment. In case of the ruling government, everybody writes in newspapers and websites against and for the government. So if a restaurateur printed something against the government, there was nothing wrong in it,” said former Bombay High Court judge Hospet Suresh.
“Home Minster R R Patil should register a case against the Youth Congress members. This is the public anger against the ruling UPA government
due to inflation that is coming out,” said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.