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‘We will not seek votes on Hindutva; it will be on Mumbai’s devp issues’
Sakal Times | Tuesday, 14 February 2017 AT 10:56 PM IST
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Mumbai: The alliance between the Shiv Sena and the BJP has ended ahead of the civic polls in the State. Both parties are now blaming each other, forgetting that they were equally responsible for alleged corruption in the Mumbai civic body. The BJP accused Shiv Sena of being a party of ‘extortionists’, the Sena responded by calling BJP a party of ‘goons’. Now, BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar says that the Shiv Sena is a sinking ship, abandoned by the ‘Marathi manoos’. Talking to Sakal Times, Shelar cleared the party’s stand on other issues too.

Q. You and your party are talking about transparency and clean administration, it is the main focus of your agenda and the manifesto, but the Economic Survey has specifically mentioned Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as a transparent and efficiently-run civic body, where the mayor is from Shiv Sena. How do you explain this?
A. The Shiv Sena is misleading the Economic Survey of 2016-17. If we read the entire context, they have given marks from zero to ten, based on the logic of public disclosure law. Here, the citizens get the right to know what kind of services they are entitled to get, what kind of services are right for them and, therefore, the public disclosure law is the base. It is obvious that Mumbai got more marks compared to other State-run corporations, which do not have a huge budget like BMC.
However, the political leadership of BMC is still being questioned. What has happened to the Rs 70,000 crore accounts that have not been audited in the last few years?

Q. Talking about corruption, you were sharing power in the BMC with Shiv Sena for 20 years. Why are you suddenly claiming they are corrupt and non-transparent?
A. We always raised the issue of corruption in BMC. We always raised our voice against corruption. We were the only ones to expose corruption in all committees. We opposed corrupt builders, we were against de-reservation. We exposed corruption in the purchase of medicines for civic hospitals Today, our government is taking prompt action and we have seen charge sheets being filed against corrupt officers, so there is no chance that other parties can accuse us.

Q. BJP is a party with a difference and has always been against dynasty politics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, insisted on that. Even after that, the BJP’s list shows the opposite picture, as children of leaders and wives of sitting corporators have been given tickets.
A. In the election, the ability to win is the main criteria for giving a ticket, and apart from the relationship of the candidates with leaders, we consider this. Winning ability is decided on the candidate’s work for the party. Just because they are children of prominent leaders, we cannot deny them a ticket. This is not
dynasty politics.

Q. The public perception is that earlier Shiv Sena and you accused each other during the Kalyan corporation election, but after the election, you came together to power. In Mumbai will you do the same? Are you ready for a post-poll alliance with Shiv Sena?
A. I feel the citizens are looking for better facilities and want a municipal corporation that will respond and address their issues. People want better infrastructure and a leadership which can provide a better Mumbai. In all these four parameters Devendra Fadnavis (CM) is the only person who can do justice. I would like to add that the BJP wave still exists and Fadnavis is a confident face. Whatever work he has started it is unparalleled and we are confident that BJP will win with a full

Q. On what basis are you asking for votes from the voters?
A. The BJP is seeking votes on State projects like the Mumbai Metro, Mono Rail, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue, Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray memorial, none of these are civic projects. BJP’s slogan is ‘sab ka sath, sab ka vikas’ and our party is with every community. We will not seek votes on Hindutva; it will be on Mumbai’s development issues. We will not talk of caste or religion. We are also not here to create a controversy on Marathi and non-Marathi basis, as it is their (Shiv Sena) agenda, not ours.

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