Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik had demanded action against BJP corporator and PWD officials responsible for the outrageous act

Bhayandar : Stung by the outrageous act of insult to social reformer Mahatma Jyothiba Phule by none other than his own party members in Bhayandar, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday ordered a high-level probe into the matter. The CM’s direction followed in response to strong objections raised by Shiv Sena legislaotor Pratap Sarnaik who demanded strict action against the BJP corporator and officials from the Public Works Department who allowed the renaming fiasco.

  Interestingly, the BJP and Shiv Sena share power in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) which had arbitrarily renamed ‘Mahatma Jyothiba Phule Marg’  in Bhayandar (east) to ‘Late C.R. Rawal Marg’ and that too on the eve of the 190th birth anniversary of the social reformer whose entire life was dedicated to achieve social justice in India.

Rawal, in favour of whom the road had been rechristened, was a builder with a dubious track record having no significant social contribution to the society at large. Since Rawal happens to be the father-in-law of local BJP corporator Meghna Rawal, the MBMC preferred him over Phule and allowed the renaming. Interestingly, the naming of the road after Mahatma Phule had been officially approved in the General Body during the erstwhile municipal council regime way back in 2001. However, the public display of affection for her kin snowballed into a controversy, after the Free Press Journal highlighted the issue, even as the local MNS and RPI activists threatened to launch an agitation.

Realising their misdoings, the MBMC got into a damage control mode and  hurriedly restored the original name by installing sparkling new boards at the same spots where the cement blocks depicting Mahatma Phule’s name were unceremoniously  wiped out.

“It is a very serious issue, we will not tolerate any type of insult to our highly revered National Heroes. If action is not taken against the guilty within 8 days, a typical Sena-style agitation will be launched,” threatened Sarnaik.

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