Mumbai: BJP, Sena take to Twitter to grab credit for 'saving Aarey'
Shiv Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray wrote on Twitter that Sena minister Ravindra Waikar held a pre-decided meeting to issue a stop work order; BJP city chief Ashish Shelar claimed he led a delegation to meet the CM over the issue
Less than an hour after the chief minister decided to constitute a committee to find an alternative solution for creating the controversial Metro car depot, the two parties in the governing alliance scrambled to take credit for ‘saving Aarey’.
City BJP chief Ashish Shelar posted this picture on Twitter, stating he led a delegation to the CM regarding the Aarey Milk Colony
Shiv Sena’s youth leader, Aaditya Thackeray, took to social networking website Twitter to assert his party’s claim on the cause, while the BJP’s city unit chief, Ashish Shelar, claimed to have led a delegation to the CM over the contentious issue.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sainiks tweeted this picture of a ‘pre-decided’ meeting of Sena minister Ravindra Waikar with MMRC MD Ashwini Bhide, to issue a stop work order for the depot at Aarey Colony
The future of Aarey Colony has worried one and all in the city, what with the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), a subsidiary company floated by the MMRDA for the project, planning to use up 30 hectares of Aarey Colony land and chop 2,289 trees to make way for a car depot for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Line 3.
Aaditya, the chief of Sena’s youth wing, had visited the colony on Friday and assured locals of his party’s support. He had even asked for the entire Metro Line 3 to be scrapped, saying it would displace chawl dwellers in Girgaum. Yesterday, he wrote on Twitter that his party has been at the forefront of the cause.
“For almost a month, Shiv Sena has raised its voice against Metro III that leads to deforestation of Aarey, displacement of locals in Girgaum,” he stated. He further claimed Ravindra Waikar, Sena’s state housing minister, held a pre-decided meeting to issue a stop work order to the MMRDA.
“Soon after CMO Maharashtra nod to committee, Minister Ravindra Waikar held a pre-decided meeting, asked MMRDA to stop work in Aarey Forest,” his post read. Shiv Sena workers on Twitter even posted a picture of Waikar holding this meeting with Ashwini Bhide, MD, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation.
The ‘other’ side
On the BJP’s part, Shelar met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Mantralaya on Monday and then announced the formation of the expert panel on Aarey Colony and the Metro III project on Twitter.
“Our government will not do anything against wishes of the people. Aarey Colony greenery is important. Led delegation to CM, an expert panel has been constituted will work for Aarey and Metro & ensure both goals, greenery and development, are pursued,” he wrote on the website, and even uploaded pictures of the meeting.
Shiv Sainiks applauded their youth leader’s role in the issue. “It’s a big success for our leader Thackerayji and it is because of him that this action (to form a panel) has finally been initiated,” said a Sena leader. The BJP, however, felt it was Shelar’s meeting, though late, that tipped the scales in favour of the popular demand to save the last remaining green lungs of the city.
A senior BJP leader said, “Many political parties had jumped in the Aarey controversy and the BJP was late to get in. Hence, to make a larger impact it was after Shelar’s meeting that the decision of constituting a committee was announced, so that the BJP doesn’t appear only to be agitating, but is also coming out with a solution.”