Mumbai: Hitting out at Shiv Sena which snapped ties with BJP for the local body polls, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, on Friday, his party had no qualms about fighting on lesser number of seats in the BMC elections, but was firm on transparency in the Sena-controlled civic body.
"Like them (the Sena) I will not say that 25 years have been wasted with the alliance. I will only say that we learnt a lesson that we caused a loss to Mumbai all this while.
"I had told all BJP leaders who were negotiating that we should be willing to fight for a lesser number of seats (in BMC) but we will not compromise in having transparency and accountability in Sena's style of functioning," he said.
Fadnavis was addressing a gathering of BJP workers, as part of 'Vijay Sankalp Melava' (Resolve for Victory Rally), the same venue where Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had on 26 January declared that his party will go it alone in the local body polls.
Holding Sena responsible for the break-up of the alliance in the run up to the 2014 Assembly polls, Fadnavis claimed the party was adamant on not contesting a seat less than 191 (out of 288 seats).
"But I thank my stars today that the alliance did not happen (before the polls). Had it happened, I would not have been the Chief Minister today. We could realise our strength only because we fought alone," he said.
Questioning Sena's criticism of BJP when it sought transparency in the BMC controlled by the Thackeray-led party, Fadnavis asked, "Did I say something wrong? Why was I chided? People had voted us to power only on the issue of transparency. Why was this agenda not acceptable to you."
Who should be held responsible for slums in Mumbai that are deprived of water and electricity connections, he asked, and alleged, "There is no scheme to treat waste water. And due to BMC's inefficiency, the city has deteriorated environmentally."
On the contrary, the BJP government during its two years in power has made the city equipped with CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi connections and large amount work on the Metro has been done, Fadnavis claimed.
"We conceived the idea of elevated corridors to ease the congestion of trains and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is being developed. We are integrating all modes of transport and looking at a single ticket issuing system.
"A person, at any point in the city should find a public mode of transport within 500 metres of his standing place," he said.
Terming Sena's stand on the coastal road project a "hypocrisy", Fadnavis alleged on one hand the party said it will be built by BMC and on the other, it was discreetly telling farmers to oppose the project as it would impact their livelihood.
"Similar hypocrisy was shown during Metro-4 project. People were told that we will displace Marathi people," he alleged.
Referring to Sena's poster campaigns, Fadnavis said the party may say "they have done it", but the real satisfaction will be in people saying "yes you have done it".
Fadnavis said his government initiated the BDD chawl redevelopment project, where people have been promised much bigger houses than that they are living in now.
"You talk of Chhatrapati Shivaji's Hindutva ideology. But Chhatrapati Shivaji had the same respect for other religions as he had for Hindutva. If you do not believe in what he said, you have no right to take his name," he said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had on 26 January said his party will contest the upcoming elections to municipal corporations and zilla parishads on its own.
While snapping ties with his ally, Thackeray had said that his party had wasted 25-years due to alliance with BJP.
Published Date: Jan 28, 2017 22:19 PM | Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 22:19 PM