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Drama between saffron allies continues

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
By Aishwarya Nair

Yesterday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called  a meeting at Chaitya Bhoomi with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials of the G/South ward to discuss the event of Ambedkar Jayanti which is celebrated every year on April 14. However, newly elected mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was not invited for this meet, when usually all such discussions are held under the guidance of the mayor.

Every year, lakhs of followers of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar visit his memorial at Chaitya Bhoomi on the eve of his birth and death anniversaries. During such important days, it is the civic body which makes all the arrangements. Thus, Fadnavis' act of not inviting city mayor for this meeting has angered Shiv Sainiks.

“The state government has never spent a penny for organising events at Chaitya Bhoomi or maintaining the structure, every year the BMC spends from its own pocket. How can he keep a meeting and not call us, for an event we have been organising for years,” said Yashwant Jhadhav, Sena group leader.
Last year, the civic body had spent Rs 1 crore for hosting the Ambedkar Jayanti at Chaitya Bhoomi.

Jhadhav has made three demands to the state government and they are as follows:

  • April 14 and December 6 (Birth and Death anniversary of Ambedkar) to be kept as dry days.
  • State government should take care of the security during processions carried on these days.
  • 'Khidki' scheme should be implemented where all types of licenses (Police, traffic, BMC) to be made available at one place.
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