As the Bharatiya Janata Party consistently points to the lack of transparency in the Mumbai civic body for wanting to distance itself from its former ally, the Shiv Sena is devising a campaign to trap the BJP in its own ‘transparency’ snare.
The Sena on Monday published a compilation of 62 news stories from Nagpur detailing irregularities and alleging graft in the BJP-dominated Nagpur Municipal Corporation. Its title: ‘Mukhyamantryancha Paradarshi Karbharacha Nagpur Paliket Phajja’ (The flop show of the chief minister’s transparent administration in the Nagpur municipal corporation ). The cover page shows a lotus in full bloom on earth wrecked with sewage and garbage. Nagpur is CM Devendra Fadnavis’ home town. The BJP has been trying to beat the Sena with the “no transparency” peg. In fact, talks between the two parties collapsed over this.
“They [the BJP] have no moral right to speak on transparency as the administration in their civic body itself is opaque. If they think what I say is wrong, they are free to file a defamation case...I will show proof,” said Sena leader Anil Parab. Parab alleged corruption in work on roads in Nagpur. “I asked for an inquiry and into the potholes that have come up. I asked for action against contractors. But there has been no cognisance of my complaint.” He said there was graft in the civic body’s water supply contract to Orange City Water Private Limited. The rate was escalated by more than five times to favour the firm, Parab said. “The water supply is not for more than four hours. The CM’s home pitch has questions of water, roads and crime. He should solve them first and then talk about Mumbai,” Parab said.
The Sena also targeted the BJP-led state for starting its journey at the helm with “no transparency”. “Who knows what deal they struck, with whom, for the floor test. Without majority, they sailed through to form government,” Parab said, referring to the voice vote the Assembly speaker took to prove.
Next, the Sena plans to publish a booklet with allegations of scams by BJP in Maharashtra. A Sena leader said, “The lack of transparency BJP was targeting us with will be our peg.”
Nagpur mayor hits back
Senior BJP leader and Nagpur mayor Pravin Datke said the allegations were Sena’s attempt to divert attention from its “misdeeds” in BMC.