A month after resuming power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Shiv Sena has demanded that April 14 and December 6 be declared dry days in Maharashtra. Senior leaders made the demand, calling it a mark of respect for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
While April 14 is Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, December 6 is observed as the Mahaparinirvan Diwas (death anniversary).
Yashwant Jadhav, group leader of Sena in BMC, said, “Many Ambedkar followers have been demanding that both the days be declared as dry days for a long time now. However, the state has not paid heed to their demand. We (Sena) are a part of the government and we want them to do this.”
When asked about the reason for the demand, Jadhav said, “Why is October 2 declared as dry day?” According to officials from state excise department, liquor shops are shut at Dadar on both days every year to avoid a law and order situation. An official said, “The collector and the police declare dry days in a state, district or even wards if it is a law and order situation under section 142 of Bombay Prohibition Act.”
On Monday, the Sena alleged that it was kept out of a meeting called by the CM to review preparations for celebrating the 126th birth anniversary of Ambedkar at Chaityabhoomi.
“On March 20, followers of Ambedkar head to Mahad. Why would the CM call for a meeting today? Sena was kept out of the meeting when we have done maximum work for Chaityabhoomi,” said Jadhav.
On March 20, 1927, Ambedkar led a satyagraha to Mahad and made the untouchables drink water from a public water tank. BJP leaders said it was an official meeting attended by departments concerned.