Ahead of the Budget session, the Congress and the NCP are competing with each other to find something to take on the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena on the floor of the House. The top leadership of both the parties has outsourced the work to several groups to dig out something to embarrass the government. A senior leader said, “Well, floor co-ordination between the Congress and the NCP sounds fine. But definitely we are going to work individually to score brownie points to reassert our identity.” According to party insiders, often both sides end up talking to the same sources or officials in Mantralaya to get inside information. Both parties are now on a desperate drive to latch on to something, which could catch the government off-guard.
No Illegal Hoarding
Finally, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has urged party leaders not to put up illegal hoardings and banners anywhere in the city. Local leaders are a bit worried as they believe the huge glossy hoardings and banners are the best medium of publicity and connect well with the masses. A Sena supporter said, “The quotient of glamour makes a huge appeal to the masses.” Or else, how does one explain the growing disconnect between the famous blackboard and Sainiks. In its initial days, the Sena always used a small blackboard, which was placed at every shakha to convey a message. A few lines written with white chalk on the blackboard worked magic. Wonder whether Thackeray will get the Sainiks to revive the old blackboard system in the Twitter age.
The ‘mantri durbar’ at the BJP headquarters is becoming a tame affair. What started with a lot of promise appears to be waning as ministers no longer keep their word to reach the party headquarters on time. Also, most of them wind up the exercise of meeting people within a couple of hours. There is no mechanism to pursue or follow up on their work. The purpose of the ‘mantri durbar’ in the party office was to strengthen the connect between the government and people. It was also aimed at allowing people from across the state to meet the minister concerned with issues related to their respective departments. A senior minister said, “Meeting people is not a problem. But almost 50 per cent of those who frequent these meetings because of easy access come with their personal agenda, which cannot be fulfilled. They also seek quick-fix solutions.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray outwardly display a perfect picture of unity. But when it comes to Mumbai, there are no such signs as reflected in the ongoing war of words between BJP city chief Ashish Shelar and Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray. Both are engaged in a oneupmanship over the theme park in Bandra. What is interesting to note is the new catchphrase that has emerged from this ongoing “tu tu mein mein”. Shelar accuses Aaditya of ‘credit corruption’. Again, he taunts him with, “Aaditya bilawar nagoba.” (A snake which takes ready possession of the burrow). Thackeray junior makes a point and moves ahead. What next?
Compiled by Shubhangi Khapre
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