At Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony at Shivaji Park yesterday, Aarey activists made sure the new Chief Minister remembers his promises regarding the forest in Mumbai. Activists who opposed the cutting of trees in Aarey for making a metro car shed attended the CM’s oath-taking ceremony with ‘Save Aarey’ banner.
While the fight to save Aarey was in full swing, Shiv Sena who was then in alliance with the BJP had opposed the felling of Aarey trees even though metro is BJP’s pet project.
The BMC had then allowed the cutting of over 2000 trees on 29 August, which led to widespread protests against it throughout the city of Mumbai. During an important meeting amongst four BJP members, three experts and the only NCP corporator on the Tree Authority had given a pass to the cutting of trees. While two Congress corporators boycotted the vote, six Sena corporators were against it.
Hence, the proposal was passed with 8 votes in favour and 6 against.
The new elected MLA from Worli, Aaditya Thackeray, also was a part of the movement and termed the felling of trees as a "shameful and disgusting" act. However, the backing from Sena had no positive effect on the movement as their portfolio had no mention of Aarey.
Now with Uddhav taking the lead in Maharashtra as CM, the Aarey issue is yet again expected to rise among the masses and it will be a testing time for Sena.