The Shiv Sena has accused Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, of plotting to make Mumbai a Union Territory. In a scathing editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna published in the Maharashtra Day edition, the Sena alleged that Mr Fadnavis has presented a plan to the Union Home Ministry to make Mumbai a union territory, which will bring it out of the purview of the state government.
“The conspiracy to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra is not completely over even today. They want to reduce the national and international importance of Mumbai and then they want to make Mumbai a Union Territory… Devendra Fadnavis and his BJP in Maharashtra are fully aware of this,” the editorial read.
It goes on to say: “Fadnavis prepared a ‘presentation’ of this ‘non-Marathi panchak’ in Mumbai, which shows how Mumbai can be separated from Maharashtra and presented it to the Home Ministry. The ‘Vikrant’ scam accused and his non-Marathi builder associates have the command of the operation in their hands. On the one hand, we celebrate Maharashtra Day and at the same time, it is not good that the conspiracies to break Mumbai from the geography of Maharashtra are strengthened.”
The reference was the BJP’s Kirit Somaiya, who, Sena MP Sanjay Raut had alleged last month, is masterminding the conspiracy along with a few others. The idea is to end Shiv Sena’s control over Mumbai, Mr Raut had alleged.
In the next few months, the group led Mr Somaiya is likely to move court saying the percentage of Marathi people in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, has gone down drastically and hence the city should be made a Union territory under the central government rule, the Sena MP had claimed.
Maharashtra was carved out along linguistic lines from the erstwhile Bombay Province on May 1, 1960, with Mumbai (then Bombay) as the state’s capital. The Bombay Province comprised of Gujarat and Maharashtra and other adjoining areas as well.
The Sena claims a conspiracy has been on for several years to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.
In the editorial, the party said: “It has been 62 years since Maharashtra was founded, yet the question ‘Whose Is Mumbai?’ has always been a matter of discussion. The struggle of the rich for the separation of this major economic and industrial centre of the country from Maharashtra continues even today! Those who only show us dreams of an undivided Hindustan have become enemies of Maharashtra.”
Devendra Fadnavis is holding a “Booster Dose rally” this evening, where he is likely to flag corruption allegations against the Shiv Sena ahead of the upcoming civic body elections. The elections to the Brihanmumbai Corporation, the richest civic body in the country, will be the most-watched battle.
“Devendra Fadnavis’s speech will be a booster dose for the BJP workers in order to boost their morale. It will also be an apt ‘dose’ for the leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government,” said Ashish Shelar, BJP MLA from Bandra.