The fight between the Shiv Sena and the BJP is out ahead of the civic polls as Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar on Saturday raised objections to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ programme of inaugurating a BMC-built swimming pool and gymnasium in Dahisar (East).
Ambekar, who wrote a letter to Fadnavis, said it was not the ‘BMC’s official event’ and stated ‘it is an insult to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of cooperative federalism’.
Ambekar stated that earlier, the union and state ministers and chief ministers have attended the events organized by BMC. “But, like today’s unofficial event has never taken place in the past and the local legislators have not organised such an event. Since this is violation of protocol, you (chief minister) should not attend today’s programme and attend those ones organized by BMC,” she stated.
However, Fadnavis went ahead with his schedule and conducted the inauguration of the swimming pool and gymnasium in the evening. Incidentally, civic chief Ajoy Mehta was present.
Ambekar stated in the letter that the ground-breaking ceremony of the swimming pool was already carried out on August 23, 2013 by the then Mayor Sunil Prabhu and the deputy mayor and local corporators were present. Also, BMC had set aside funds for the swimming pool. “It would have been right if the event was organized by BMC and such event will be organized. But there is no place for BMC in the invitation card of today’s event of inaugurating the swimming pool. This is not just an insult of the mayor but also of Mumbai, all Mumbaikars and elected representatives,” stated
Ambekar adding she is not attending the event in protest to condemn it.
BJP leaders slammed Shiv Sena alleging that Shiv Sena leaders tried to delay the inauguration ceremony. “The Mayor along with local Shiv Sena leaders attempted to put hurdles in making these facilities available to citizens. In July, the Mayor was informed to take the chief minister’s appointment. We followed it up several times. Since she said she is not getting time of the CM, we met him and got his appointment. After that, we alerted the mayor to keep her time reserved for the event but she didn’t,” said Pravin Darekar, BJP legislator.
Darekar said around Rs 8 crore have been spent on constructing the facilities. “It has been ready for the past six months. The mayor does not have time to make it available for public. Then, what is the use of constructing such facilities. After all, we are making it available for public. And BMC is not above the chief minister,” he added.