BJP says that the MNS tactics to lure Marathi voters by removing the Gujarati pride posters from BEST bus won’t succeed.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s decision to remove the posters of Gujarat newspaper Sandesh from BEST buses mentioning about the role of Gujaratis in Mumbai’s development has not gone down well with the BJP. The saffron party has strongly responded that MNS strategy of playing the Marathi card won’t work as Maharastrians vote for development. MNS supremo Raj Thackeray has backed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the prime minister’s post but he is unwilling to be a part of the NDA.
When AV asked, BJP MLA from Borivali Gopal Shetty whether MNS activists removed the Gujarati newspaper posters just for the sake of luring Marathi voters he replied, “The MNS ploy to attract the Marathi voters won’t succeed this time. People have realised the Congress is likely to benefit if they vote for MNS hence they won’t vote for the latter. They also want to avert the split of Marathi votes.”
Gopal Shetty strongly condemned the MNS party activists move to remove the posters of Gujarati newspaper from BEST buses.
“MNS should refrain from indulging in vote bank politics. All of us are aware that every community has contributed for the progress of the state. The party should appreciate the role of other communities and motivate them which will take the state forward” added Shetty.
MNS Corporater Sandeep Deshpande who asked party activists to remove the posters said, “The Gujarati language newspaper advertisement speaks only about the contribution made by Gujarati community towards Mumbai’s development but ignores similar efforts made by the Marathi people. Is it true that only Gujaratis played a prominent role in the city’s progress? Aren’t Marathi people involved in the development of the city? Why they have failed to make the mention of Marathi people’s contribution in the advertisement.”
Congress spokesperson, Sachin Sawant talking to AV said, “MNS only raises the Marathi issue during the onset of election why they forget about the community on other occasions. The party should instead work for the welfare of Marathi people.”
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The anti-Gujarati sentiments has been increasing day by day in the state which will only create communal tension in the city. Political parties should not indulge in vote bank politics.”
Few days back, Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna had published an editorial criticising Gujarati’s for not participating in the Maharashtra Day celebrations. This incident prompted Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray to issue a clarification that Sena did not share the thoughts expressed in the editorial.
Nitesh Rane, Swabhimaan Sanghatana president and son of Congress stalwart leader Narayan Rane too had targeted the Gujarati community. He criticised the vegetarian habits of Gujaratis as a result of which Maharashtrians have been denied flats in the Gujarati dominated areas of the city. He claims that Mumbai offers more lucrative options and should “stop praising Narendra Modi”.