Mumbai: BJP, Sena slug it out over Mahalaxmi Racecourse clean-up
After Shiv Sena tried to take credit for cleaning up the racecourse post-PM Modi's rally, BJP said its workers had already cleaned venue and that Sena must have dumped garbage there to gain publicity
It seems even the issue of cleanliness can’t prevent our netas from fighting dirty. A day after PM Narendra Modi’s rally at Mahalaxmi Racecourse on Saturday, the BJP and Sena were engaged in a slugfest over taking credit for cleaning up the venue.
Shiv Sena’s candidate from Malabar Hill, Arvind Dudhwadkar, seen here cleaning the garbage, claims to have spotted the trash when he was on his morning walk
While the Sena claimed that its MLA aspirant from Malabar Hill saw garbage from the rally lying at the racecourse yesterday morning and called in party workers to clean it up putting paid to the PM’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan the BJP accused the Sena of throwing fresh garbage at the racecourse to orchestrate the clean-up and take credit for it.
While there was garbage lying at the racecourse after Modi’s rally on Saturday, BJP workers claim they had cleaned the venue the same night and even yesterday morning. The Sena, however, says its MLA candidate Arvind Dudhwadkar saw that the area was littered yesterday morning and called his party workers to help clean it. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
The BMC waded into the issue as well, claiming it had cleaned the area outside the racecourse as it is in its jurisdiction. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Our party workers had cleaned the venue properly.
Since there was no garbage left after the rally, Sena workers could have thrown it there in the morning to make it appear that the party was cleaning up after BJP workers. These things are being done for publicity. Before this, the Sena was not in the news, but this issue has got them good publicity without putting in any efforts.”
A BJP worker and the coordinator of PM Modi’s rally at the racecourse said, “Since the Prime Minister had appealed to attendees not to throw garbage on the streets, we deployed our party workers to ensure that not a single piece of garbage was left after the rally.
We did some cleaning in the night itself, and then, after the stage was dismantled around 8 am on Sunday, more than 25 of our workers cleaned the premises thoroughly.”
According to Sena leaders, however, the party’s corporator and MLA candidate for Malabar Hill, Arvind Dudh-wadkar, was on a morning walk around 8.30 am when he saw garbage (flags, placards, plastic bottles and glasses) lying on the racecourse premises.
Dudhwadkar then called some Sena workers, who cleaned up the venue within an hour. The photos of the Sena cleaning up the racecourse were circulated on social media. Responding to the BJP’s allegations of dumping garbage at the venue, Dudhwadkar said, “These allegations are baseless and we did not throw any garbage.
They had not cleared the garbage after the rally and I saw the flags, posters, bottles etc when I was out for my morning walk. Following PM Modi’s cleanliness appeal, we decided to clean the place since the BJP ignored its duty.”
The BMC also entered the fray a little later and claimed that it had cleaned the area outside the racecourse. “We cleaned the portion along the fence and the area outside the premises, which is in our jurisdiction. We started cleaning around 9 am on Sunday,” said a BMC official.