Pune: The ruling BJP and the opposition parties – NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena were busy targeting each other and playing the blame game during the special General Body (GB) meeting called on Friday to discuss the delayed Shivsrushti project, a memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Senior NCP corporator Deepak Mankar and opposition leader Chetan Tupe pushed the BJP to hold the meeting as the Pune Metro Rail Project has already been kicked off and the station for Pune Metro Rail is planned on the 28-acre land in Kothrud where Shivsrushti was also planned.
Before the GB meeting started, the NCP corporators and supporters, clad in traditional Shivaji-era costumes, entered the GB hall and shouted slogans in support of setting up the Shivsrushti in Kothrud. The PMC security was put on alert to avoid any untoward incident as a mob thronged the General Body hall’s audience gallery.
Starting the discussion, corporator Vishal Tambe appealed for setting up the memorial as soon as possible without bringing in politics.
Shiv Sena corporator Pruthviraj Sutar said his party supported the project but the meeting should have been called much earlier. He said only one project is possible in Kothrud either metro rail station or Shivsrushti. He said the corporators will have to resort to agitation for setting up the Shivsrushti.
Baburao Chandere told the General Body that the ruling BJP should make it clear whether it is interested in Shivsrushti or not.
BJP corporator Rajendra Shilimkar blamed the NCP and the Congress for not taking the project to its logical conclusion. When Congress corporator Lata Raguru was asked to speak, she sought that a statue of Ramabai Ambedkar should be unveiled by the President while BJP’s Kiran Vede-Patil said that both Metro Rail Station and Shivsrushti should be set up. First-time BJP corporator Sushil Mengade congratulated Mayor Mukta Tilak for taking the issue of Shivsrushti on priority.
Gafur Pathan said he is offering Rs 1,00,786 for the project and if the funds are not sufficient, he will collect more funds from the Muslim community to complete the memorial. Dheeraj Ghate recalled Dr Ambedkar Memorial on Indu Mill land and Shivaji Maharaj memorial in Arabian Sea and said that the BJP will surely set up the memorial in Kothrud.