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Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, while laying the foundation stone for a flyover near Market Yard on Friday, interrupted his speech to interact with a passerby. Bapat asked the youth, who was talking on the phone while passing by the venue, if he was married. When the youth replied that he wasn’t married, Bapat said, “If you are unmarried, join the BJP. I will give you employment, but get married only once.”
Bapat’s comments, which caused a fit of laughter in the audience, are likely to give fodder to opposition parties who have criticised his statements in the state cabinet. Bapat said he was laying the foundation stone for the flyover project and hoped he would be invited for its inauguration as the state assembly elections are scheduled next year.
The BJP has been under criticism for undertaking construction of the flyover at Market Yard at a cost of Rs 28 crore. Opposition parties have been saying there was no need for a flyover in the area, which has lesser traffic congestion than other roads in Pune.
BJP corporator and Leader of House in PMC Srinath Bhimale, who had taken up the initiative for the flyover, had placed hoardings of the foundation stone laying ceremony at the Parvati assembly segment. Reportedly, he is gearing up to contest the assembly elections from Parvati constituency and was not leaving any stone unturned to reach out to the public.