Shiv Sena leaders and corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday called RJ Malishka Mendonsa’s parody video on poor road infrastructure in Mumbai a “political stunt”. Claiming that they are not bothered by the Red FM radio jockey’s song and video, Sena leaders said her view is not shared by the rest of the city. Yuva Sena leaders had earlier sought that the civic body file a case of defamation against the radio station for the video. On Saturday, senior party leaders said the issue is being twisted only to portray the Shiv Sena in poor light.
Party veteran and leader of the House in the BMC, Yashwant Jadhav, said: “It is for everybody to see who all are backing her and supporting her now. Malishka’s parody is nothing but a political stunt to malign the Shiv Sena. As soon as she was criticised, many political figures came forward in her support. In this way, the radio station too got publicity. We do not intend to give them any more publicity as we don’t care about Malishka or her parody song.”
He added, “Efforts of hundreds of BMC workers who work round-the-clock to repair potholes and prevent water-logging will not go down the drain by a politically motivated act of some RJ.”
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said Mendonsa’s song is only her own view and not reflective of the real conditions in Mumbai. “It is very easy to highlight these issues of potholes. But there are many successful projects and good initiatives undertaken by the BMC. Nobody wants to highlight that. Nobody wants to highlight the hard work that is put in by BMC workers each day. We do not want to give importance to her personal views,” said Mahadeshwar. He added: “Notice to the RJ and criticism to her song are two separate issues that happened at the same time. The notice was not a result of the RJ’s song making fun of the civic body, but (result of) a routine inspection.”
Agreeing to the fact that pothole-ridden roads are a major problem in the city, former leader of the House in the BMC and senior Sena leader, Trushna Vishwasrao, said: “Whether it is highways maintained by the state government agencies, or city roads maintained by the BMC, as soon as potholes are noticed, people start cursing the BMC. Malishka’s parody song is just an addition to that. Malishka must conduct a little research before blaming anybody. We choose to ignore the entire episode and keep working for the good of the city.”
Last week, Yuva Sena members (youth wing of the Shiv Sena) and corporators, Samadhan Sarvankar and Amey Ghole, in a joint letter to BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, demanded that a Rs 500 crore defamation suit be filed against Red FM.
Sena corporator Kishori Pednekar had also criticised the RJ and even hummed a song in a tune similar to that in Mendonsa’s video cautioning Malishka for speaking against the civic body.
It all began after a 1.23 minute-long video with a song titled ‘Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nai ka’ (Mumbai, don’t you have faith in BMC) in Marathi and uploaded on YouTube. In the video, Mendonsa was seen taking a dig at the BMC for the bad condition of roads filled with potholes across the city as well as delays in suburban trains due to water-logging. In the video, Mendonsa is seen making fun of the civic body and other authorities over the issues related to traffic snarls during rains. The BMC has served a notice to the RJ’s mother, Lily Mendonsa, alleging that mosquitoes were found to be breeding in her flat at Pali Hill, Bandra.