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Look who's talking: Sena opposes slum regularisation

Monday, 3 March 2014 - 12:07pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

The party had offered free homes to all slum dwellers in Mumbai during its reign

In a bold and surprise move, the Shiv Sena has gone hammer and tongs against the Congress-NCP alliance government's decision to extend the cut-off date to protect hutments up to 2000. This when, the Shiv-Sena-BJP government had legalised all slums which had come up prior to January 1, 1995, during its reign between 1995-2000, besides the fact that a whopping 4 lakh citizens would be benefitted from the decision. However, observers say that this opposition should not be surprising as the Sena believes those living in the slums will not vote for the party.
Commenting on the move of the state government in the party mouthpiece Saamna on Sunday, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut stated that the state government had gone ahead with a decision to regularise these slums only with an eye on its vote bank and by doing that it has taken the politics in the state to pits.
Raut says that those staying in slums are poor and it is these poor people that the Congress government is exploiting. Furthermore, Raut says that the `Marathi manoos' living in the slums live in difficult conditions. However, in the slums, people belonging to other states live illegally and it is for these slums, that the state government has taken this decision.
The state has permitted the sale of hutments till 1995 and also regularised slums tills 2000 after the Chief Minister was pressured by the Congress and the NCP in view of the Lok Sabha elections and vote bank calculations. The Chief Minister bowed to the pressure and took the decision, which has led to this low level politics.
Raut further says nobody will seek the demolition of the slums and make the poor shelterless, but how long will Mumbai, Pune and Nashik take the load.
"All this is part of a design to ensure that Mumbai does not remain with us." Slums catch fire and mills are burnt and these places are then taken over by builders. Tomorrow, there will be no Mantralay and in its place a shopping mall may come up. Forget the slum dwellers, the state has not built even a colony of even a lakh houses for the lower income groups.
To get rid of the slums and ensure that slum dwellers get good houses, the late Balasaheb Thackeray initiated the SRA scheme, but that the whole scheme has now been manipulated for the benefit of builders and it is ridden with corruption. Besides, the number of slum dwellers have increased from 40 lakhs to 1 crore, who will take responsibility for the increase.
Till the time, there are politicians and parties, which think that if slums increase our votes also increase, slums will profilerate.
Four MPs namely Gurudas Kamat, Priya Dutt, Sanjay Dina Patil and Eknath Gaikwad win on the votes of slums like Behrampada, Dharavi and Siddharthnagar. Dalits and Muslims stay in these slums, but they have not done anything to improve their lot, but in these slums Muslims from UP, Bihar and West Bengal have become slum lords.
They want to make Mumbai a financial centre, but before making Mumbai into Singapore and HongKong, the state should study, how they were able to get rid of slums in these places.
While concluding, Raut states that in West Bengal and Assam, they have ensured the influx of Bangladeshis into theses states to create vote banks and in some place created domination of the Muslims.Infiltration and illegal slums are part of the design of vote bank poilitics. In Mumbai too, these slums have become centres of Pakistanis and Bangladeshi and this state has become a state of slums.
Political analyst Surendra Jondhale said "the Shiv Sena knows that they will not get the votes of the slum dwellers. Besides most of the slum dwellers are from North India and the Sena has no hopes of garnering votes from them.They have nothing to lose. This is the reason behind their opposition on the face of it.

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