Sena miffed as BJP usurps launch of Shivaji memorial
MUMBAI: Friday’s preparations for the ceremony (bhoomipujan) planned on Saturday to start work on the mid-sea memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji have added turbulencetothechoppyrelations between allies Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena.
The BJP irked both its ally and some Maratha community leadersby the way it totally dominated Friday’s functions. The entire area around the Shivaji statue in Chembur, where BJP leaders welcomedpeoplecarryingpailsof water, soil and stones from across Maharashtra for the bhoomipujan,wasdeckedupwiththeparty’s flag. Senior BJP ministers such as Vinod Tawde and Chandrakant Patil, and party functionaries Raosaheb Danve and Ashish Shelar, dominated proceedings.
The procession rally that followed was also dominated by BJP flags and placards with the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
who will carry out the bhoomipujan on Saturday.
This was supposed to be an event organised by the Maharashtra government, of which the Shiv Sena is a part. The party was absent at the
Chembur event as well as in the procession. Instead, Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray had a meeting with party leaders on the upcoming BMC elections.
CM Devendra Fadnavis (centre) receives the water and earth collected from parts of the state on Friday.