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Mumbai mayor says 34 people died in Kamala Mills fire, calls it ‘slip of tongue’

Mahadeshwar said the number 34 was on his mind as he won the election by that many votes

mumbai Updated: Jan 03, 2018 09:54 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Mumbai mayor,Kamala Mills fire
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar(HT Photo)

Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar courted controversy by misquoting the number of people who died in the Kamala Mills fire as 34, instead of the 14 deaths that occurred.

Speaking at the felicitation for constable Sudarshan Shinde on Monday, Mahadeshwar said the fire killed 34 people.

He was corrected by the media and citizens present at the felicitation, when he turned to his assistants, who corrected him, and said 34 people were injured in total, and 14 of these died in the fire.

Mahadeshwar then requested the media overlook the mistake.

Mahadeshwar later told Hindustan Times, “It was a slip of tongue. It’s not that I did not know or remember the damage that this fire has caused to Mumbai and the people. But the number 34 is on my mind all the time, as I won the elections by 34 votes. I remind myself of that.”

However, this ‘slip of tongue’ has earned the mayor a lot of flak. Opposition parties and activists accuse him of being irresponsible, especially at the time of such a tragic incident, which has put Mumbai under the national scanner.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader, Sandeep Deshpande, said, “Mahadeshwar is the first citizen of the city, and a person in such a high position ought to act responsibly. I recall when the mayor felt insulted for not being invited to the launch of a mobile application at the hands of the chief minister last month. It seems he is not concerned about real development issues.”

Similarly, Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee said, “The mayor heads the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and he is at least expected to be updated and involved in the happenings of the city. It’s very irresponsible of him to say so.”

First Published: Jan 02, 2018 23:47 IST