While the Maharashtra government has pointed to the Covid-19 crisis for low-key bhoomipujan inviting only two leaders — Ajit Pawar from the Nationalist Congress Party and Balasaheb Thorat from the Congress — the BJP has not taken kindly to the oversight.
Opposition leader in the legislative council Praveen Darekar reminded that it was Fadnavis as the chief minister who facilitated the memorial project.
“It was Devendra Fadnavis who took the lead and ensured all central and state government permissions were granted for the memorial and then to exclude him shows a very petty mindset,” he said.
TOI FILE: Then Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a ceremony to hand over the land of mayor’s bungalow to Balasaheb Thackeray memorial trust at Dadar in Mumbai.
“If the function is online, where was the problem in inviting? Functions are being held with limited invitees, but if you do not wish to invite, there can be several excuses not to extend an invite,” he said.
BJP party spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said it takes a big heart to acknowledge that Fadnavis had ensured all formalities were completed and clearances obtained.
“Not everyone has a big heart, but it is rather surprising that the government did not wait for its founder Sharad Pawar who is currently hospitalised. They could have held the programme a few days later after he had recovered. What was the hurry?” he asked.
Relations between the two former saffron allies have further deteriorated after the Sachin Waze episode.
Fadnavis had claimed that when he was chief minister he had received a call from Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief, for the reinstatement of Waze in the police force.
He, however, did not do it after he was briefed by the advocate general who also advised against his reinstatement.
During the budget session, Fadnavis had successfully ensured the ouster of Shiv Sena cabinet minister Sanjay Rathod over his alleged releationship with Tik Tok star Pooja Chavan who committed suicide.