Mumbai, (The Hindu): Shiv Sena chief accuses BJP of dragging its feet on vital policy matters; ducks query on potholes.Taking pot shots at coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday questioned why the decision on building the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya was hanging fire when the move to demonetise was effected instantly.
Mr. Thackeray was speaking here after a meeting of the Sena’s western Maharashtra unit leaders and party workers to assess poll preparedness.
“While the demonetisation decision was taken so quickly, why has the work on Ram Mandir not commenced yet. They [the BJP] had promised it would begin before the elections. Going by the tardy pace, the question is which elections, the 2019 or 2050?” asked Mr. Thackeray.
He further accused the BJP of dragging its feet on other vital policy matters like the repudiation of Article 370 of the Constitution and the Uniform Civil Code.
“There appears to be no discussion on such important issues now. They appear to have been relegated to the backburner,” said the Sena chief, while demanding to know why the BJP failed to take a clear stance on these matters. He also issued thinly-veiled rebukes to the BJP over the recent controversy over distribution of the Bhagavad Gita to students in select colleges in Mumbai.
“This move was taken to cover up the widespread mismanagement prevailing in the University of Mumbai, right from delayed exams to paper leaks. Students today need to be given education relevant to modern times; instead of trying to resolve urgent issues, the State Education Department wants to distribute copies of the Bhagavad Gita,” he said.
The Sena president reiterated his party’s opposition to the Nanar Refinery project in Ratnagiri.
“Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured that it [Nanar project] will not be imposed if the locals are opposed to it. His assurances notwithstanding, we are with the people of the Konkan region and we shall not allow it to come up,” Mr. Thackeray said.
On Mumbai roads
At the same time, he parried a question on the number of deaths due to potholes in Mumbai and the deplorable condition of roads in the city following heavy showers.
“Civic infrastructure and maintenance and repair of roads is everybody’s responsibility,” said Mr. Thackeray, whose party controls the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
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