July 3, 2009 12:26:57 am
The political battle over the Bandra-Worli Sea Links name continued on Thursday,with the Shiv Sena slamming NCP chief Sharad Pawar for suggesting Rajiv Gandhis name and the NCP disputing the Sena-BJPs claim that any decision was ever made to name the landmark after Veer Savarkar.
The Sena-ruled BMC also demanded that no toll be levied on corporators using the link.
In an editorial,Sena mouthpiece Saamna called the sea link the tombstone of the corrupt practices of the Maharashtra government. Hence,suggesting that the bridge be named after Rajiv Gandhi of Bofors corruption fame is fitting in that sense.
The editorial said the bridge could be named after any personality from Maharashtra like Savarkar,Babasaheb Ambedkar,Mahatma Jotiba Phule,or Babu Genu.
It scoffed at Pawars contention that it be named after Rajiv as he was born in Maharashtra. Pawar suggested Rajiv Gandhis name only to please Sonia. Perhaps he will return to his parent party through this sea link, said the editorial,while attacking Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his party men for shaming Maharashtra.
But Sharadbabu,hadnt you ditched the widow of this Rajiv who was a Mumbaikar by birth and quit the Congress? questioned the editorial. Pawar had quit the Congress in 1999 on the issue of Sonias foreign origins. It alleged the Nehru-Gandhi family had the first right on the resources of the country,and new projects and schemes were immediately named after the family.
For the NCP,Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal said there were no documents to show the link was originally named after Savarkar. He said he had all documents on the link checked after the Sena-BJP claimed the government it headed chose Savarkars name.
Let me make it clear we have no opposition to Savarkar. Its just that no document or noting has been made about the naming of the bridge, he said.
According to Bhujbal,the process of tenders,design and contract award was completed after the Congress-NCP government came to power in 1999.
Even we have been talking about the Nhava-Sheva link but nothing has materialised it. If we announce that the link should be named after someone,will it be? It doesnt work that way, said Bhujbal.
Meanwhile,the Sena pointed out that MLAs have free access to highways and bridges in states,and MPs to such structures across the country. The sea link is located in Mumbai so why shouldnt city corporators get a toll-free ride, said Sena corporator Ravindra Waikar. Rejection will be met with a Sena type non-cooperation,the party warned.
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