NCP gets in the way of Shiv Vada Pav

The grand scheme of the Shiv Sena to sell the Shiv Vada Pav from stalls and on handcarts has hit a hurdle,with the Nationalist Congress Party opposing it on two grounds.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 10, 2009 1:53 am

The grand scheme of the Shiv Sena to sell the Shiv Vada Pav from stalls and on handcarts has hit a hurdle,with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) opposing it on two grounds.

The NCP is objecting to the scheme,saying it trivialised the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Besides,the NCP alleges that the Sena’s plan to sell the dish through handcarts was “illegal”.

The party wants the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to change the name,Shiv Vada Pav,and reconsider the scheme before its proposed implementation on May 1.

The party is planning to get a stay from the government or even move court.

A delegation led by the president of the NCP Mumbai unit,Sachin Ahir,which met municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak on Monday,strongly objected to the use of the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to push vada pav.

“It is unbelievable to what extent the Sena can stoop by making use of the warrior king’s name. It is insulting and we will never allow the use of Shivaji’s name for an eatable,” Ahir said. “If the name is not changed,we will protest on the roads or ensure a stay from the state government. As a last resort,we will move court.”

The civic Law,Revenue and General committee on Saturday gave its clearance for starting and licensing the 215 Annadata Aahar Kendras and 125 Shiv Vada Pav handcarts. Despite the NCP’s opposition,the proposal was cleared as the Sena enjoys a majority in the committee.

Ahir said the NCP would not allow the civic body to implement the scheme. “On one hand,BMC does not allow hawkers to sell wares on the streets and seizes handcarts of poor people and on the other,it is legalising sale of food on handcarts,” he said,pointing out that the use of handcarts will be contempt of the Supreme Court order against street vendors. Ahir said the civic body ought to have thought twice before agreeing to the scheme.

While the NCP stand may derail the Sena plan,Congress has been demanding an equal number of stalls to sell Kaanda Pohe.

On the name,Shiv Vada Pav,Phatak said it was the corporators’ right to decide the name. “If they want to give another name,they are free to do so,” he said.

Phatak said that after the state government had scrapped the Zunka Bhakar Kendras,a large number of people had lost their livelihood and the civic body received requests to start the scheme again. “We,therefore,decided to start Annadata Aahar Kendras and Shiv Vada Pav handcarts selling food items at subsidised rates.”

On the contempt issue,he said,“Law officers and senior civic officials have studied the SC verdict and ensured that both schemes do not defy the order. In a place like Mumbai with land crunch,use of handcarts is not wrong. If there is any such problem,we will re-align the policy.”

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