A day after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) targeted an advertisement campaign being run by a Gujarati daily, the Brihanmumbai Electricity and Transport (BEST) undertaking pulled down 70 banners of the ad (till Saturday evening) it had put up on its buses.
The advertisement by the recently-launched Mumbai edition of the newspaper, Sandesh, is on the contributions made by the Gujarati community to the financial and intellectual development of Mumbai. While MNS felt there was truth in the claim that the community had played a role in the city's financial growth, it objected to the 'intellectual development' part of the campaign. Claiming the campaign was hurting Mumbaikars, the Raj Thackeray-led party asked BEST to remove the banners from its buses and warned that if that was not done, the party itself would do it in 'MNS style'.
Two hundred BEST buses are carrying the advertisement.
"We began the work immediately after BEST committee instructed us to do so. It will take us another day to remove all the banners," said a senior BEST official.
MNS group leader and BEST committee member Sandeep Deshpande, who had raised the issue, welcomed the action. "I had just expressed the sentiments of the common man. It's good to see BEST taking immediate action," Deshpande said.
The MNS took the stand close on the heels of the editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', which targeted the Gujarati community. However, party leaders including president Uddhav Thackeray, later dissociated themselves from the editorial.