Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Maharashtra visit seems jinxed from the get-go. Reports said Shiv Sena leaders would be boycotting the Kalyan Metro and Pune Metro ‘bhoomi pujan’ as party leaders and ministers Eknath Shinde and Vijya Shivtare have been invited but not their party chief Uddhav Thackeray. Also Read - Cyclone Nivar: PM Modi Speaks To Tamil Nadu, Puducherry CMs, Assures All Support From Centre
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had boycotted the ‘bhoomi pujan’ for Mumbai Coastal Road recently where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wasn’t invited by Shiv Sena. (Also Read: PM Narendra Modi to Inaugurate New Campus of IIT Bhubaneswar on Dec 24: Dharmendra Pradhan) Also Read - COVID-19: With 37,975 New Infections, India's Total Tally Surge To 91,77,841
Meanwhile, during PM Modi’s whirlwind tour, two Sena MPs, Shirang Barne from Maval and Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil from Shirur, would skip the inauguration of the third Metro line — from Hinjewadi to Shivajinagar — as their names weren’t there on the invitation cards. Also Read - Maharashtra: 35 Percent Schools Reopen After 8 Months, Only 5 Percent Students Attend
A report in a leading daily pointed out that Baramati MP Supriya Sule, daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, too would stay away from the function. Speaking to the daily, Barne said, “I have received an invitation card, which carries only the name of BJP MP Anil Shirole, while the names of other three MPs are missing.”
Adhalrao said there was another invited doing the rounds on WhatsApp which had all MPs’ names. “This is not an official card. It’s circulating on WhatsApp. It carries the names of all MPs from Pune and all MLAs,” he said.
Sule’s office said, “Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) officials hastily printed her name on a blank sheet along with other names and circulated it, making it look like an invitation card.”
BJP city president Yogesh Gogawale said it was a government function and the PMRDA would go by protocol. “We don’t know who has been invited and who has not been. It’s entirely as per protocol,” he said.
District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat told the daily that 30,000 invitation cards had been printed. “The names of all MPs and MLAs have been printed on them. It’s wrong to say names of MPs are missing,” he said. Adhalrao said, “The second invitation card seems to have been hastily prepared so that it does not lead to any controversy. Bapat is trying to save face.”