With few months to go for the assembly elections, BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have locked horns over a game of one-upmanship. At a time when Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was busy preparing a list of works that he wanted to take up with the centre to get speedy approvals, BJP leaders displayed their swiftness by presenting details of similar works to union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, who was in Mumbai last week.
Sources said Thackeray was keen to push certain city-centric projects as that would have given his party an advantage in the run-up to the state polls. He is still sulking from being denied better representation in the union cabinet, they said.
During an inspection of desilting of drains last week, Thackeray had mentioned his plans to approach the centre. He had said that he would send all the newly elected MPs, from Sena and BJP, along with Mayor Sunil Prabhu to New Delhi to submit a list of pending proposals to respective ministers.
Sources claimed that though his intentions were clear, the urgency shown by the BJP leaders last week clearly indicated that they don't want Sena to be the 'Big Brother' in the state. "Why wouldn't our party think independently if the alliance partner doesn't care for our senior leaders. Why would our MPs go with Sena leaders led by the mayor," said a BJP leader.
He said that the issues raised by them were pertaining to the environment ministry and Prakash Javadekar is from Maharashtra. "It was easier for us to handover the demands to him for speedy clearance of the files," he added.
The demands made in the BJP memorandum include faster approvals for coastal roads such as Gargai–Pinjal in national river linkage project, widening and deepening of river Mithi and construction of bridges on it and replacement of pipelines with underground water tunnels. The delegation was led by Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief.
Even after repeated attempts to speak to Uddhav Thackeray, he did not respond to the calls. However, Shelar said that they are important city issues. "Aim of both the parties is one and the same. There is no reason for friction. We are working towards betterment of the city."