Malabar Hill MLA: Will not sacrifice security to appease any community

Updated: Jul 20, 2019, 08:05 IST | Hemal Ashar

New BJP Mumbai president Mangal Prabhat Lodha and CM Devendra Fadnavis look at a sweeping win in the October Assembly elections

Malabar Hill MLA: Will not sacrifice security to appease any community
Fadnavis hands over the BJP flag to Lodha at the event

A usual frantic Friday afternoon at Dadar East opposite the defunct Ranjeet studio had an added edge yesterday. The road leading to the BJP office opposite the studio was lined with hoardings of Malabar Hill MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha who took over as Mumbai BJP president. Dhol-taashe rent the air and shopkeepers swarmed outside the building. Their businesses could wait; the chief minister was to attend the function they had heard."

The hall on the third floor of the office was packed with organisers begging people to keep the mid-passage clear. A roar went up as Lodha entered. Vande Mataram rang out through the hall and people shouted, "Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji..." A good one-and-a-half-hours later Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrived. Party MLA from Vile Parle, Parag A introduced Lodha saying, "He is inspirational. He has been fighting elections since college days. He is the ultimate strategist." When Lodha took the mike, he credited others for the BJP win saying, "In Indian culture somebody sows the seeds and others have the fruit." He claims, "This is BJP's golden phase. It is a leadership of action, not empty words." Lodha added, "We will take action against illegal immigrants. The BJP will not sacrifice national security to appease any community. We have to work towards a 36-0 win in the upcoming elections."

As the hall erupted, Fadnavis said Lodha was a leader who did not "project himself. He is seminal to the BJP war room where the wheels are turning silently and smoothly without any publicity." "Lodha will be part of the laws being framed for the tenant-landlord equation and the BJP wants to bring to fruition the dream of the common man to have a house of his own. The earlier government paid no attention to dilapidated structures. We are working towards making redevelopment of dilapidated buildings a law," the CM added. Fadnavis further said, "Since the BJP came to power we have seen movement on the lines of Metro, Trans Harbour Link, Cess Buildings and slums. What remained on paper through the years has become a reality now." He also mocked the previous government's catchphrase — Mumbai banega Shanghai.

Fadnavis added, "We are not a simply bhoomi-pujan party but one that works." Speaking about the traffic jams Mumbaikars were facing due to the Metro work, he said, "But nobody is cursing us because they know how easily traffic will move after 2024." Before leaving the stage, he said, "None of Modi's detractors could stop the BJP from winning. We have to ensure there is a renewal of faith this October."

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