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BMC’s ‘blatant oversight’ that has Raj Thackeray’s MNS riled up

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Hawking zones near MNS office

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s anti-North Indian stand is no secret. He wants people from UP and Bihar to be out of Mumbai lock, stock and barrel, and has been extremely vocal about it.

MNS workers have beaten up North Indian hawkers and the party has fought for giving hawking zones only to Marathi hawkers.

A few days ago, the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced setting up of new hawking zones. And a sizable number of north-Indian hawkers have been allocated spaces in front of and along the street that houses the MNS party office, ‘Rajgad’, in Dadar.

Angry at such “blatant oversight” by the BMC, the MNS took out a rally to the civic body headquarters Thursday near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj train terminus in south Mumbai.

They demanded the area near ‘Rajgad’ be declared a ‘no-hawking zone’.

Also read: Modi, Amit Shah among the who’s who of Lutyens Delhi present at IAS officer’s family event

Congress’ Twitter spat

Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee had set the political circles abuzz with a tweet earlier this week in which she slammed former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram “with due respect” for “gloating over” the Aam Aadmi Party’s victory in the Delhi polls, instead of being concerned about the Congress’s drubbing.

She was responding to a tweet by Chidambaram in which he saluted the people of Delhi for defeating the BJP and setting an example for other states that will go to polls in 2021 and 2022. 

The attack on the veteran Congress leader by a relatively junior party spokesperson caught everyone in the Congress by surprise. 

There was an unmistakable sub-text to it, though.

Sharmistha’s father, Pranab Mukherjee, and Chidambaram didn’t get along when they were ministers in the UPA government.

At the launch of Chidambaram’s book, Speaking Truth to Power two years ago, the former President of India had admitted to ‘differences’ with the latter

Mukherjee had replaced Chidambaram as the finance minister in 2008 when the latter was shifted to the home ministry.

Chidambaram, however, returned to finance after Mukherjee became the President in 2012. 

‘Political’ marriage

Some wedding bonds bring political bliss. 

The alliance between the Congress and the JD(S), albeit temporarily, helped H.D. Kumaraswamy come back to power as the Karnataka chief minister. The two parties, however, had a bitter parting in July last year. 

Now political pundits are busy speculating about the political ramifications of Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil’s marriage to senior Congressman M. Krishnappa’s grandniece, Revathi.

They got engaged last Monday — the wedding will take place on 17 April.

Nikhil’s debut in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Mandya had ended on a disappointing note.

Siddaramaiah’s one-liners

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah is known for his sharp one-liners. 

A group of supporters came to his residence recently with garlands, a Mysore peta (typical kannadiga headgear) and sweets. 

When Siddaramaiah asked them why they had brought those things, one of them replied: “I had a dream that you were the chief minister of our state again. I wanted to felicitate you for that and so brought all these.” 

In his signature deep voice and smirk, Siddaramaiah said, “If you don’t see the dream, will I not become the CM again?” 

The visitors could only respond with a sheepish smile.

(Contributors: Haima Deshpande and Rohini Swamy)

‘Sitharaman snubs industry captains in Mumbai’ — Until further verification, we are holding back this item from our feature ‘Pre-Truth’.

Also read: Why BJP leaders are curious about Nirmala Sitharaman’s pre-Budget meetings 


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