Not Swachh Bharat: Why is BJP defacing Mumbai, asks Sena

Oct 12, 2015, 07:35 IST | Tanvi Deshpande

Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu criticised BJP supporters for putting up the hoardings, banners across the city for the PM’s visit; Sena leaders boycotted all the PM’s functions

Shiv Sena leaders are wondering what happened to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, after the city was painted saffron with hoardings for his arrival on Sunday. Sena leaders not only boycotted PM Modi’s events, some of them were even vocal about the number of hoardings put up by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) across the city.

Some of the hoardings put up at BKC. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Some of the hoardings put up at BKC. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Every time there is a public function in the city, where important leaders are expected, their political parties go the extra mile to make them feel welcome. The hoardings, banners, etc, are for this. The BJP has done this in the past, and so has the Shiv Sena.

But after Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray made it clear that he will not attend any of Modi’s functions on Sunday, other Sena leaders towed the line and chose to remain absent for all the functions. PM Modi was in town on Sunday for the inauguration of two Metro lines, the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial, and a project in Navi Mumbai.

Modi supporters had put up hoardings, saffron flags and banners across the city, especially from the airport to BKC, and around the Indu Mill area, where the events were scheduled. The Shiv Sena did not just stop at boycotting Modi’s programme in Mumbai on Sunday, but some leaders also criticized the BJP supporters for putting up hoardings in the city for his arrival.

“They were the ones who spoke about Nirmal Bharat. What happened to that? Isn’t this defacing the city?” asked Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu. Asked if the Sena will write to the civic administration to remove the hoardings, Prabhu said there was no need.

“It is the municipal commissioner who should take action.” He did not fail to mention that the Sena respects Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Even Trushna Vishwasrao, Sena leader in the BMC, said that the civic administration should take off the hoardings immediately.

Mayor absent
As the first citizen of the city, the mayor is supposed to attend events when the Prime Minister is in town, as per protocol. But Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar lost her mother on Saturday and hence could not attend the functions.

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