May 25, 2021 3:21:59 am
With civic elections due early next year in Mumbai, vaccination centres have turned into early campaign centres.
With posters of different parties and politicians pasted outside vying for people’s attention, many vaccination centres have got a distinct election feel about them.
At the Police Grounds vaccination centre in Ghatkopar East, it is BJP MLA Parag Shah and the Shiv Sena competing for poster space. “I have put my posters as I spent the money for setting up the drive-in vaccination centre from my funds. Anyone can put posters. Let Sena also put their posters. They have put Aditya Thackeray’s posters,” Shah said.
Shiv Sena vibhag pramukh Rajendra Raut said, it was on Thackeray’s direction to choose “a central place” for the vaccination centre that the Police Ground had been chosen. “That is why we put up Aaditya saheb’s poster,” Raut said.
BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said, “Elections are not important for us. We had a hashtag BJP4Seva and did good work across Maharashtra in Covid times. Some people may have put up posters, but it is not a big issue. Our main aim is to serve the people”.
A top BMC officer said they needed the support of all local politicians for carrying out the vaccination drive smoothly.
In the island city, there is a poster of the Congress with pictures of all leaders including local MLA Amin Patel at Nagpada junction directing people to go for vaccination. “My corporator has put it up, not me,” said Patel.
In Bandra East, the vaccination centre at the Government Colony community centre displays posters of Transport Minister Anil Parab and other Sena functionaries including Rohini Kamble.
“The Congress has 30 corporators. It is obvious they will put up their own posters alongside BMC’s. Nothing wrong in that. Mumbai Congress is the first organization to have demanded doubling of vaccination centres. If our corporators have worked in their ward, they will be gauged as per their work,” Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap said.
Sena’s Manisha Kayande said, “Our corporators are public representatives and they feel that whatever good work they do for their electorate, it should be communicated to voters.”
Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani said the BMC will check the legality of political posters at vaccination centres.
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