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Before the elections,a war of sorts has broken out between the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
While the Shiv Sena’s drive to get stalls provided by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to sell Shiv Vada Pav at a nominal price across the city is under consideration,the Congress is propping up another Maharashtrian dish,the Kaande-Pohe.
The Congress,which is in the opposition in the Sena-BJP-run BMC,is demanding an equal number of stalls for Kaande-Pohe.
Congress leader in BMC,Rajhans Singh,says he has written to Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak demanding the stalls.
If BMC can give stalls for Shiv Vada Pav,then Kaande Pohe should be given stalls,too. We have asked for an equal number of stalls,as given to the Sena, he said.
The Municipal Commissioner said that Singh had spoken to him about the stalls and the BMC may consider making some provision for the Congress to sell Kaande Pohe on handcarts,which will be given designated places in the wards. We are yet to get their demand letter and will take a decision accordingly. Even the Shiv Vada Pav scheme has to be approved by the corporation, he said.
The war between Shiv Vada Pav and Kaande Pohe has been raging for quite sometime now. After the Sena held a function for Shiv Vada Pav,Singh had announced a Kaande Pohe Sammelan which had to be postponed after 26/11.
Stating that Kaande Pohe was more Maharashtrian than Vada Pav,Singh had said that women groups from across the state will be called to participate in the function and the recipe like Shiv Vada Pav will be standardised.
However,the 26/11 terror attacks had disrupted the program. We were planning to hold the function in December,but after the attacks,we did not find it appropriate to go ahead. In the next few weeks,we plan to orgainse it, said Singh.
Championing the cause of Marathi Manoos,the Sena had launched the Shiv Vada Pav initiative,wherein contestants from 27 places across the state were asked to make the food item. The winning recipe was to be standardized and the Vada Pav proposed to be sold in stalls devoted to the food item.
The civic administration is currently working out a strategy to award stalls to the Sena to implement its Shiv Vada Pav programme.
With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner,it is believed the Sena wants to woo the voters by launching the Shiv Vada Pav and thus give employment opportunities to the youth and women self-help groups.
Its earlier scheme of Jhunka Bhakar Kendras had fallen flat after the Congress-led state government scrapped it last year. The Sena is already trying to revive a few legal centres.