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Politics over selfie point

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When MNS’s venture was shut down after its defeat in BMC polls both BJP and Shiv Sena are trying to score selfie brownie points by trying to restart the project.

After the MNS had taken a decision to shut down the city’s first selfie point in Shivaji Park, Dadar, BJP and Shiv Sena has come forward to start it  to lure youth voters. Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar had tweeted that the party will restart the selfie point soon. Shelar also has come up with ambitious plans to renovate the recreation centre. Even Shiv Sena too is trying to derive mileage by installing its posters by mentioning that the party has taken the responsibility of restarting the selfie point. The party had erected a poster of corporator Vishaka Raut mentioning that soon selfie point will be thrown open to public. Thus a political battle has begun between Sena and BJP over the restarting of selfie point at Shivaji Park Both parties are trying to take credit for reviving the project.

Ashish Shelar tweeted, “We will restart the selfie point and renovate it. Soon youngsters will start visiting the area to click selfies. See you all soon at the selfie point.”

The selfie point was the brainchild of MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande. He had set up the selfie-point with an umbrella theme during the monsoon and butterfly theme in the winter season. Earlier, MNS supremo Raj Thackeray had inaugurated the selfie point with much fanfare. Such selfie-points were set up by city corporators ahead of the civic polls to connect with voters, especially youngsters. The area used to attract large number of youth who used to click selfies. On Sundays huge crowds used to assemble at this place to click selfies using selfie sticks. However, the project had to be closed down due to shortage of funds.

After a restructuring of wards in the metropolis, the Shivaji Park seat was reserved for women. Deshpande fielded his wife Swapna from the ward for contesting BMC polls but she was defeated by Shiv Sena’s Vishakha Raut. Shivaji Park was one of the seats, which the MNS was confident of winning in the recently held civic body polls.

“The civic body rules stated that the civic body funds should not be used for such work and hence private companies were roped in under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme for the project,” said Mr Deshpande.

“The maintenance cost of the selfie-point was about Rs 12 lakh per year. But it is now getting difficult to raise funds for it under the Corporate Social Responsibility scheme. Hence I have decided to shut down the selfie-point,” he said.

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