Under fire for shoddy road works and corruption in poll-bound Mumbai, with most of the censures coming from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena is attempting to turn the tables and target its ally by shifting focus to Nagpur, the stronghold of the BJP.
In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, the Shiv Sena severely criticised the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Monday for the poor condition of roads in the city, grafts in road concretisation and lack of basic infrastructure.
“The public will be happier if those blowing their trumpet about roads works in Mumbai pay attention to the poor quality of roads in Nagpur. The BJP has a stronghold on the Nagpur Municipal Corporation and is in power in Delhi too. Despite the BJP having a majority, the people of Nagpur have to spend their lives dodging potholes,” read the editorial.
The Shiv Sena also took potshots at chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari, union minister for road transport and highways, as both hail from Nagpur. “While these bosses sit at their high-profile posts and call the shots, who is supposed to take responsibility for the poor condition of roads in Nagpur?”
The party said that Nagpur is as important as Mumbai as considered to be the second capital of Maharashtra. It added that Nagpur is home to not only several pilgrimage destinations but also the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
With the Mumbai 2017 civic polls drawing closer, BJP leaders have repeatedly targeted the Shiv Sena for alleged corruption by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in road, sewerage and drainage contracts, despite being a junior partner in the coalition ruling the civic body. With the Nagpur civic body headed to polls in 2017, the Shiv Sena decided to use the same strategy, and target its ally for corruption in road works by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
“There is a lot of talk about corruption in the contracts for the cementing of roads in Nagpur. Water pipelines were damaged during the work and should have been repaired and replaced, which didn’t happen,” read the editorial. It added that the tainted contractors should be identified and jailed.
The party said the BJP-led state government is misleading Nagpur residents by promising them a smart-city, while the city’s basic infrastructure lies in shambles.
Earlier, Anil Parab, the Shiv Sena chief for Nagpur, led a delegation to the Nagpur Municipal Commissioner with a list of complaints about the crumbling roads and potholes.