The politics over Gujaratis residing in Mumbai does not seem to be over. After the Shiv Sena put its foot into mouth over a controversial stand, the Maharashtra Navanirmana Seana (MNS) n Friday demanded to remove advertisements of a Gujarati newspaper Sandesh from the buses run by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST).
The MNS alleged that the advertisement gives credit to the Gujaratis for Mumbai’s development. MNS councilor Sandeep Deshpande raised the issue at a BEST committee meeting. BEST is an institute affiliated with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ruled by Shiv Sena-BJP. “The advertisement speaks only about the contribution made by Gujaratis towards Mumbai’s development but ignores similar efforts made by the Maharashtrians. Is it true that Gujaratis alone contributed towards Mumbai’s growth? Aren’t Marathi speaking people involved in the development of the city? Why has their contribution not been mentioned in the advertisement?”, Deshpande asked.
BEST committee chairman Arun Dudhwadkar, a Shiv Sena member, said that he will examine the advertisement. “If anything objectionable is found we will remove it.”
Parthiv Patel, MD of Sandesh, rejected Deshpande’s allegations. “Our advertisement campaign is only talking about the achievement of Gujaratis residing in Mumbai. We mean no disrespect nor have anything against any community living in Mumbai.”
“Moreover India is the largest democracy in the world and the stand taken by the political parties is not only against Sandesh and Gujaratis, but it is against the entire media fraternity,” he said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray recently had disowned an editorial in the party mouthpiece, Saamna, which raised doubts over Gujaratis’ loyalty towards Maharashtra cause.