“Those who failed to get the people's mandate are in power while the party [BJP] which passed with flying colours is seated in the opposition. We will not need a ladder to turn the tables,” said former chief minister and leader of opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis, who did not miss the opportunity to mock the Sena-led MVA government by referring to Pramod Mahajan’s 23-year-old speech which according to him resonates with the state’s current political fiasco.
The former chief minister made the remarks during the bhoomi-pujan (groundbreaking ceremony) for the construction work of an art gallery in the memory of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan in the Kanakia area of Mira Road on Friday evening.
“I am grateful to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) for giving me this opportunity of performing bhoomi pujan in memory of Pramod Mahajan-ji who groomed and mentored the younger generation of the BJP, including me, with his oratory and extraordinary managerial skills.”
While BJP leaders including Pooonam Mahajan, Mihir Kotecha, Niranjan Davkhare, and Ravindra Chavhan registered their presence, their Shiv Sena counterparts, including guardian minister Eknath Shinde, were conspicuous by their absence in the ceremony.
Alike their strained relationships in the state government, friends turned foes -- the BJP and Shiv Sena -- are also at loggerheads in the MBMC.
“This pious day coincides with my daughter’s birthday who has never seen her grandfather but is accustomed to his reputation. Apart from being a straight forward political leader, my father loved art, drama, and theater. This art gallery will be a fitting tribute to him,” said Poonam Mahajan.
Apart from the bhoomi-poojan of the art gallery and handing over keys of shops to beneficiaries in the Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) project in Kashimira, the former chief minister also inaugurated a state-of-the art, 68-meter-tall Turntable Ladder (TTL) which will help fire brigade personnel of the MBMC reach as high as 24 floors for emergency rescue and firefighting operations.
Congress stages protest
Workers from the local Congress unit, led by Pramod Samant, staged an agitation to register their protest against the wasteful expenditure by the ruling governance in the MBMC and the BJP-led central government for ignoring the demands of agitating farmers.
Sporting black plastic robes printed with two-liners in support of the farmers, the agitators raised anti-BJP slogans outside the venue.
The agitators were rounded up and taken to the Mira Road police station by on duty personnel.
Activists of social welfare organization- Jiddi Maratha Pratishthan, led by Pradeep Jangam, have already launched a sit-in agitation demanding full-fledged hospitals and playgrounds instead of art galleries and party halls.