Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit Deonar dumping ground and Zaveri Bazaar during his five-hour-long visit to the city on April 12.
Gandhi will first visit the dumping ground and then head towards the Zaveri Bazaar to interact with jewellers on the issue of the 1% excise duty imposed by the Central government in the Budget. He is also visit the Mumbadevi temple.
After extending his support to the jewellers during their agitation in the Delhi, Gandhi visiting them in Mumbai is assumed to be significant move after they expressed their anger openly against the Bhartiya Janata Party-led Central government.
Congress city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam said that seven crore families dependent on the business are badly affected and the Union finance minister did not have courtesy to even hear out their grievances.
“The Central government has completely neglected the valid demands of the industry that accounts for a major chunk of contribution to the economy. Gandhi’s visit to the agitating jewellers will send a strong message at the national level,” said former Congress MP Milind Deora, who used to represent south Mumbai constituency that houses Zaveri Bazaar.
Significantly, the jewellers, who hail from Gujarat and Rajasthan, supported the BJP in 2014 elections. According to senior party leaders, their leader has been supporting the sections upset with the Central government and the BJP and this has been an attempt on the same lines after his support to the students from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
Gandhi’s visit to Deonar dumping ground is seen as an attempt of the party’s Mumbai unit to highlight the issue that had grabbed the city’s attention and Shiv Sena-BJP ruled civic body could do precious little to improve the situation. The party is trying to lay the blame on the saffron allies, who are ruling the civic body for two decades.