The Shiv Sena has again come to the radar of the right wing leaders in Mumbai after the issue of naming a bridge in Mankhurd on Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chishti has surfaced in several media reports. As per reports, Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Rahul Shewale has written a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to name the almost completed flyover in Mumbai’s Mankhurd area after Chishti’s name. Shewale is a long Sena loyalist and a sitting MP from Mumbai South Central constituency since 2014.
The Shiv Sena leader wrote the letter to CM Thackeray on June 10 where he advocated for naming the flyover being built at Mankhurd road after Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Garib Nawaz. The Sufi Saint was one of those well known Saints to enter into India when the country was under the reign of Sultan Iltutmish.
The issue was quickly picked up by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders who protested against Shewale’s unacceptable demand. The BJP leader and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Ram Kadam, questioned the existence of ‘bhagwa’ spirit in Shiv Sena and demanded naming the said flyover in Mankhurd after Maharashtra braveheart Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
“I demand from the Chief Minister that Mankhurd bridge should be named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” said Ram Kadam while reacting to the news, quoted by ANI. Kadam also took a slingshot at Shiv Sena by raising questions over Sena’s tall claims of being supporters of Lord Ram, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He asked if their claims are only to gain votes during elections.
Former BJP MP and current Vice President of Maharashtra BJP unit, Kirit Somaiya, known for his blunt criticism of Shiv Sena in the past few years, contended that Shiv Sena has disrobed its saffron clothing to hold a “green flag”. “It is being said that Mankhurd flyover will be named after Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Now, Shiv Sena has left its saffron flag and is carrying a green flag in its hand,” said Somaiya while rapping Shiv Sena leader Shewale’s unacceptable demand for Mankhurd road.
VHP leader, Shriraj Nair, also warned of strong protest if Shewale’s demands were to get accepted by Maharashtra CM. Nair demanded that Mankhurd flyover be named after only a Hindu and no one else.