Mumbai: The people of Mumbai will defeat those who are talking about removing the saffron flag from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Shiv Sena said on Friday.
The Shiv Sena made the remarks in the editorial of its mouthpiece Saamana, two days after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis exuded confidence that his party will win the 2022 BMC polls, dislodging the Shiv Sena from power in India's richest civic body. Fadnavis had said the saffron flag will be hoisted again in the BMC, but it will be of the BJP, a former ally of the Shiv Sena.
Taking a dig at the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which shares power with the Congress and the NCP, the former Maharashtra chief minister had also said that the BJPs Hindutva was not adulterated.
The Shiv Sena has been controlling the cash-rich civic body, which has annual budget in excess of Rs 30,000 crore, for more than two decades.
In the editorial, the Shiv Sena said in the distant past two Peshwas (key administrative figures during Maratha empire), Bala Natu and Chintu Patvardhan, had brought down saffron flag from atop the Lal Mahal (a 17th century monument) in Pune and unfurled British Union Jack in the place of it.
The Marathi daily said the people of Pune were then pained to see the saffron flag being removed from the Lal Mahal, while there were also some who were tranced due to overjoy.
The people of Mumbai will rout the descendants of the tranced ones who are talking about removing the saffron flag from the BMC and hoist it (saffron flag) on their grave too.
The saffron flag on the BMC is radiance of Maharashtra’s pride, the Shiv Sena said.
The party likened Mumbai to a perpetually erupting fire, whose colour it added, is purely saffron.
"(You) will be destroyed if (you) touch the saffron (flag). It is evident throughout history. Those who are speaking the language of hoisting new East India Company’s Union Jack on the BMC should not forget this,” the publication said.
The Shiv Sena claimed the BJP got associated with the saffron flag only after it joined hands with the party founded by late Bal Thackeray.
The Shiv Sena further said that the language of removing the saffron flag from the BMC also implies denying Maharashtra its rights over Mumbai.
Removing the flag from the civic body will also mean shoving Mumbai down the throat of capitalists and enslaving Marathi "manoos" and labourers, the editorial claimed.
Those who are conspiring to bring down the flag of Marathi pride and Hindu radiance are insulting the hardcore Hindutva of the country.
"They want to bring the saffron flag in Mumbai down for political gains,” the party alleged.
"...those who saw the dream of removing the saffron flag from the BMC disappeared forever from politics and public life,” it added.