Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena are yet again at loggerheads over the naming of a public space. On Thursday, at BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) garden and market committee meeting, a Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator from Govandi (M East ward) tabled a proposition to name a municipality park after Tipu Sultan. The committee chairperson didn’t consider the proposal and instead referred it back to the administration. BJP, however, demanded that the proposal should be immediately rejected. Its members alleged that Shiv Sena is hideously supporting the proposal, as it didn't reject it and sent for reconsideration.
"Shiv Sena is hideously supporting the agenda of naming a park after a Sultan, who was anti-Hindu. They could have easily rejected the proposal and asked the corporator to come up with a new name. However, they indirectly backed the proposal by referring it back to the next meeting," said Bhalchandra Shirsat, senior BJP corporator and spokesperson of the party in BMC.
"Tipu Sultan was a tyrant and anti-Hindu. He wanted to transform Mysore into a Muslim state. If a park or monument is named after him, then BJP will not support it and will hit the road instead," Shirsat said.
Meanwhile, Pratima Khopade, chairperson of the committee and senior Shiv Sena corporator, said that the proposal has been referred back because the garden is still under construction and members of her party haven't supported it. "If our members would have supported it, then the proposal would have been passed instead of getting referred back, as we are in majority," Khopade said.
Meanwhile, Ruksana Siddiqui, the corporator who tabled the proposal, blamed BJP for playing communal politics and said that she will not support changing the name of the garden. Being a corporator, she has the right to propose the name of a public place.
"Tipu Sultan's contribution to India's freedom fight is known to all. There are many parks and gardens in India named after him. Before playing communal politics and spreading hate, BJP should have checked the facts," Siddiqui said.