Mumbai: BJP not opposed to nightlife plan, says Niranjan Shetty

Mar 05, 2015, 06:40 IST | Varun Singh

Niranjan Shetty, spokesperson of the party’s city unit and an office holder in a hoteliers’ association, says the party has no objection to the proposal that has received the chief minister’s nod; adds that it should just not be elite-centric

Ever since Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to let Mumbai remain open 24x7 and the proposal was accepted, politics has taken centrestage.

BJP Mumbai spokesperson Niranjan Shetty said there should be no doubt regarding the plan since the nod for it has come from the CM himself
BJP Mumbai spokesperson Niranjan Shetty said there should be no doubt regarding the plan since the nod for it has come from the CM himself

The BJP, which was being seen as a hurdle to the plan to mark certain areas in the city as nightlife zones because of various contradictory statements issued by leaders, has now clarified it has no objection to the plan. Niranjan Shetty, the chief spokesperson of Mumbai BJP, has clarified that the party has no qualms with the plan when the chief minister himself has given his assent.

Shetty, who is also the chairman of the BMC committee of the Indian Hotel And Restaurant Association (AHAR), said, “We haven’t opposed the nightlife proposal. Our chief minister has given it a go-ahead, and when the chief minister has said nightlife will be a part of Mumbai, then why should there be any doubt regarding this?”

Shetty referred to the Mumbai police’s preparedness to tackle law-and-order in these special zones, and said security had also been taken care of. However, the party’s city chief, Ashish Shelar, had raised certain points regarding the plan and had said it should be inclusive and not confined to elites.

Shetty clarified, “Our only intention is that everyone should be accommodated, including pav bhaji and vada pav stalls and not just the elite places. Addition of a point is not going against it; this input was just a value addition.” Shetty felt the proposal takes care of citizens’ concerns that peace in residential areas will be disrupted due to these nightlife zones.

He said the proposal clearly states that nightlife zones will only be allowed in commercial areas and not in residential precincts. Hence, he said, there was no cause for worry. “As members of the hoteliers’ association, we welcome this move as it will give us an opportunity to serve the public for a longer period,” he said.

A senior Sena leader claimed that the Special Entertainment Zones will mostly be in areas not surrounded by residential zones. He said, “Malls are one of the places which can be seen as an apt place for nightlife (zones). Malls already have parking facility so roads won’t be encroached by cars at night. Malls have their own security and the cops will also be present. Noise inside malls stays inside, and, hence, neighbouring areas remain quiet,” he said.

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