'If Amul can poke fun, why not a restaurant?'

Jul 25, 2013, 02:39 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

BJP cites tongue-in-cheek remarks on hoardings and by others to question Congress workers' over-the-top reaction to eatery's bill wisecrack

After garnering national focus, the melee at Aditi Pure Veg Restaurant figured in discussions in the monsoon session of state council yesterday, when BJP demanded action against the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers who went to the eatery demanding its shutdown.

MiD DAY broke the news of 30-35 young Congressmen -- upset over a jocular remark against the UPA government’s scams and service tax regime that was printed on the diner’s bill -- browbeating the eatery on Monday.

A day later, the issue catapulted to national limelight, with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, among many others, tweeting that it was the height of intolerance.

For a brief period the house witnessed exchange of pungent remarks between the Congress and BJP members. Raising the matter through point of propriety, BJP leader Ashish Shelar condemned the attack by IYC men and said every citizen in this country has a right to express his opinion.

Shelar, the BJP city chief, said, “No political party has ever objected to witty remarks on advertisement hoardings by Amul. Nor has anyone objected to the sharp observations by noted jurist and former city mayor Nana Chudasama that appear on politically and socially themed banners.”

He added that the Congress move was wrong and a criminal case should be lodged against the party’s youth wing office bearers involved in the brouhaha. As reported by this paper, Congress workers even wrote to BMC authorities, asking them to bring down bits of the structure as they had been ‘illegally constructed’.

Congress members took strong exception to it and MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre referred to a few incidents in which Opposition BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS party members were involved. At this point a few terms used by Thakre created a furore, leading to a heated exchange between the ruling party and opposition members.

Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde demanded the remarks be expunged from the record of the house. Order was restored only after the state council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh assured members that he would go through the proceedings and take a decision on removing the remarks.

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