PM Modi sidelined Uddhav Thackeray during the bhumi pujan ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial but interacted with Sharad Pawar.
Even though BJP had invited Shiv Sena for foundation stone laying ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial but hostilities between both the parties was visible during the function. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who inaugurated Maratha warrior king’s memorial gave a cold shoulder to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. There was no interaction between both the leaders as Modi was seen cosying with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. NCP had earlier provided outside support to the BJP while forming government in Maharashtra. Even though Modi had attacked NCP for indulging in corruption activities but he had later on praised Pawar for development work undertaken by his party. After the inauguration of memorial both Modi and Uddhav went to Bandra Kurla complex as the former delivered a speech about demonetisation and other issues. Even though he addressed the names of several leaders he failed to mention the name of Uddhav and his party.
The function lasted for two hours as many leaders addressed the gathering. However, here too Modi was keeping a safe distance from Uddhav. Thus Modi was sidelining Uddhav during the function. He didn’t speak about the issues raised by the Sena president. On the other hand, he had spoken some words about Sharad Pawar and his long political career. After the end of the function Modi again met Pawar and interacted with him. Shiv Sena leaders are upset with Modi for giving more importance to Pawar and sidelining Uddhav.
Even though Shiv Sena is the alliance partner of the BJP led state government but the relations between both the parties had strained. After winning the state assembly polls BJP has been trying to play the role of big brother which has upset Sena. The saffron party also is keen to wrest the control of the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC) currently ruled by Sena. The saffron party is likely to demand more seats for contesting the BMC election a move which may irk Sena.
Modi laid foundation stones of many key infrastructure projects, including the country’s longest sea bridge and two metro lines in the city, entailing investment of over Rs 1.06 lakh crore. Projects include 22.5km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link that will connect the city’s eastern suburbs with the mainland across the harbour, via a 16.5km sea bridge and a viaduct.
Modi also laid the foundation stones of two new metro projects — the 23.5km DN Nagar-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro-2B corridor and the 32km Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavli Metro-4 corridor — through a remote control at the event. PM Modi also inaugurated a new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets, SEBI’s educational initiative at Raigad.