Mumbai: Shiv Sena hits back at BJP, dares it to wrest control of BMC

Hitting out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over a remark that Shiv Sena’s saffron flag needs ‘purification’, the latter said that BJP has no connection with the saffron flag. An editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana said the saffron flag of Shiv Sena is fluttering atop the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for over three decades and dared BJP to remove it.

The allies-turned-rivals – BJP and Shiv Sena – are warming up to an intense fight for control over the BMC, the richest civic body in the country, which goes to polls in early 2022. Sounding the poll bugle on Wednesday, Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP will take control of the BMC after February 2022. BJP leader Ashish Shelar remarked that Sena’s saffron flag needs purification after it abandoned Hindutva to ally with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party last November.

“BJP leaders did not say they hoisted saffron flag in Bihar after their recent win. It is because they are not connected to the saffron flag. They got connected to the saffron flag after allying with the Shiv Sena. It is fluttering on Mumbai [civic body] since the time BJP was not with Shiv Sena. This saffron flag is pure, radiant and effective,” the editorial said on Friday.

It added that though the BJP has inducted the descendants of Maratha warrior king Shivaji in their party, the saffron flag of Shivaji still belongs to Marathi people. “The ones who are plotting to remove the original saffron flag of Marathi pride and Hindu radiance are betraying Hindutva in the country,” the editorial added.

On Thursday, Sanjay Raut, Sena’s chief spokesperson and a member of the Rajya Sabha (RS), took the battle to the opposition BJP’s camp. Taking a veiled dig at actor Kangana Ranaut, he told media persons in Delhi that Mumbaikars would never hand over control of BMC to a party which backs people who had insulted Mumbai and equated it to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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