The blow-hot blow-cold relations between the BJP and the Shiv Sena have now arrived at another point of bickering. The latest flashpoint is the much-touted Make in India campaign in Mumbai, which was marred by the fire at Girgaum Chowpatty.
The Shiv Sena has complained to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee against the lion mascot installations which have been put up across the city as part of the campaign, an Indian Express report has said. Civic officials are said to have claimed that four out of seven installations are at heritage sites in violation of legal restrictions-including Gateway of India, the BMC headquarters, Marine Lines and the Kilachand garden at Babulnath.
Earlier this week, too, the Sena had taken potshots at the Make in India event, saying that commercial agreements signed before the elections have not been honoured yet.
"The BJP had signed MoUs with 4 smaller parties of Mahadev Jankar, Sadabhau Khot, Ramdas Athawale and Raju Shetty. They were offered ministerial berths, corporations and promises to solve farmers' issues were made. They were also promised respect in the government if they helped the BJP come to power. What happened to those MoUs?," it asked.
"2,594 MoUs have been signed during the MII Week and Rs 3,25,000 crore worth investments have been promised for Mumbai-Konkan region, Rs 1,50,000 crore for Vidarbha region and Rs 25,000 crore for Khandesh. Also, Rs 50,000 crore will be invested in Pune.
"These figures may vary because like air is filled in balloons, investment figures are usually inflated," Shiv Sena had said.
The Sena's consternation against its alliance partner may have been compounded by the fact that its chief Uddhav Thackeray was not invited to any of the Make in India events held in Mumbai, as reported by Sanjay Sawant of Firstpost. One of these events was a gala dinner on 13 February where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present.
A BJP leader was quoted as saying, "There would be guests from foreign countries and prime ministers from various countries like Sweden, Finland and Lithuania. It was not in the protocol to invite Uddhav Thackeray."
The Sena and the BJP have even sparred over the colour of the lights at the iconic Marine Drive in South Mumbai. While the former bats for the yellow lights in the area-termed as the Queen's necklace-the latter has favoured white LED lights, saying that they are energy efficient.
With the fire at Girgaum Chowpatty casting a dampener over the Make in India campaign in Maharashtra, it remains to be seen what the Shiv Sena's stance will be in the days to come.