Social media abuzz with Sena-BJP tussle

Ashish Shelar, BJP Mumbai president, and Aaditya Thackeray, Yuva Sena chief, took to Twitter to criticise each other’s parties

The rift between the alliance parties in the state government seems to be increasing with every passing day. Ashish Shelar, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mumbai president, took to social media to criticise the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena scion, Aaditya Thackeray, also vented his anger online and came down heavily on the BJP. Shelar had claimed that the party, that opposed a place for the Metro, even opposed the smart city project, and hence had made Mumbai wait. Shelar, whose pet project, the LED lights at Marine Drive, suffered a set back after the opposition from Sena and the lights were changed to yellow LEDs, also tweeted that truth cannot be hidden under yellow lights.

Sena opposed Shelar’s pet project of the LED lights at Marine Drive and Aaditya Thackeray vented his anger on Twitter
Sena opposed Shelar's pet project of the LED lights at Marine Drive and Aaditya Thackeray vented his anger on Twitter

Upset that his pet project, the open gym on the Marine Drive promenade, was being removed on the BMC’s order, Thackeray vented his anger on Twitter, where he criticised Colaba BJP MLA, Raj Purohit. In his post he wrote, “To the Hon’ble MLA from Colaba who finds working out in shorts obscene… We are in 2016! Most of us do work out or even roam around in shorts. It’s normal, not obscene.”

A senior leader from the Shiv Sena said that the party’s stand remains what Thackeray has tweeted. “The BJP doesn’t understand that things are being done so that Mumbai benefits, and its heritage value is retained. However, now that our leader has spoken, we do not find it appropriate to speak further on it. We hope BJP supports us in the growth of Mumbai,” said the leader.

Purohit claimed this chapter was closed for him. “I had written the letter then. I have other subjects and issues to look into. I am a leader who works on the ground. I do not wish to comment any further on this,” said Purohit.

The BJP, however, hasn’t taken the jibe by Thackeray too well. Chief spokesperson for the party in Mumbai, Niranjan Shetty, said, “On the one hand Aaditya wants the open gym, and on the other hand he is opposing the white LEDs. He should explain his definition on what makes Mumbai modern.”

Shelar had tweeted, “Metrola jaaga denyas virodh karnaryani smart cityla hi virodh kela. Tyamule Mumbaichi sandhi lambli? Pivle dive lavun satya thode lapnar aahe?” (Those who opposed a place for the Metro, opposed the smart city proposal for Mumbai too. Truth cannot be hidden by changing the lights to yellow.)

The Sena scion, taking a dig at the Heritage Committee that ruled against the open gym at Marine Drive, tweeted, “About the Honourable Heritage Committee, which, by the way has no conservation architect or historian for the first time ever since its inception, and has no answerability, it suddenly has woken up to revoke the permission given to place this street furniture of open air work out station...We have the road re-laid, promenade re-made, which is great. By the way, the lights were changed by a company without even paying heed to the Heritage Committee, but it chose to selectively come after what is good for the common man. It would be great if we look at reviving heritage and restoring forts of Mumbai for tourism and jobs, than be a hurdle to improve the common man’s lifestyle with these issues.”

Preparing for polls
With BMC elections hardly a year from now, the BJP and Sena are indulging in politics that will help them get more votes. Sanjay Nirupam, the Congress president for Mumbai, commenting on the regular tussle between them, said, “The Sena should decide whether it’s in the government or opposition, they cannot be both.”

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