For now,brakes on Sena-Cong culinary tug of war

The culinary tug of war between Shiv Sena’s Shiv Vada Pav and Congress’s Kaande Pohe,in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra,will be delayed.

Written by Shweta Desai | Mumbai | Published: January 22, 2009 1:41 am

The culinary tug of war between Shiv Sena’s Shiv Vada Pav and Congress’s Kaande Pohe,in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra,will be delayed. The Sena’s grand plan to globalise the common man’s burger and launch a retail chain of 100 stalls on the birthday of its supremo Bal Thackeray on Friday will turn out to be a belated gift. The ruling party at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has failed to secure space for over 100 stalls where vendors will sell the branded Vada Pav.

However,the Sena said Thackeray’s appeal for a quiet birthday without any launches or major functions has resulted in the delay. The retail chain selling standard recipe of vada pav will now be launched on May 1 — Maharashtra day.

Sanjay Gurav,who heads the Maharashtra Vada Pav Vikreta Sena,told Newsline that the launch has been postponed as of now. “Balasaheb doesn’t want any launch or any major programmes on his birthday,we have therefore postponed the Shiv Vada Pav for sometime,” he said. Around four candidates have been shortlisted for their vada pav recipes and they are waiting for the approval of the winning recipe.

The BMC,where Sena is a ruling party along with saffron ally Bharatiya Janata Party,had directed the civic administration to provide space for 125 stalls. The civic administration managed to provide a draft plan only this week and it may still need approval from various committees before the stalls can be handed out. As per the proposal,125 stalls will be set up — one each for a population of one lakh — and unemployed youths or women self-help groups will be provided the space at a nominal rent or on lease.

The proposal,which is likely to be tabled for approval in the civic body next week,is expected to receive opposition from the Congress as it has now demanded an equal number of stalls from BMC to sell another Maharashtrian food item: Kaande Pohe.

Standing committee chairman and senior Sena leader in BMC,Ravindra Waikar feigned ignorance on the delay. “We are making a plan for the stalls by following the legal rules and regulations. I was never told about the launch on January 23,” he said.

After the Supreme Court banned stalls and hawkers from footpaths and streets obstructing pedestrian movement,the BMC found itself in a tight spot to provide additional space for Shiv Vada Pav. It has now been decided to locate the stalls near gardens,hospitals,schools or civic buildings. “The stalls will be set up near public places. We will also provide stalls in civic buildings,” said an official handling the project.

Party executive president Uddhav Thackeray had announced the launch of Shiv Vada Pav with an aim to strengthen its organisational network and provide livelihood to its cadres.

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