Despite declaring its support to the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of the county, MNS opposed the ‘Gujarati Pride’ posters on BEST buses, saying that it has "ignored" the contribution of Marathi people towards Mumbai's development.

Alleging that the advertisement issued by the Gujarati language newspaper called 'Sandesh', highlighted only efforts made by Gujaratis and "ignored" the contribution made by Marathi people towards Mumbai's development, MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande had demanded removal of the advertisement on Friday.

“The Gujarati language newspaper advertisement speaks only about the contribution made by Gujaratis towards Mumbai's development but ignores similar efforts made by the Marathi people. Is it true that Gujaratis alone contributed towards Mumbai's growth? Aren't Marathi speakers involved in the development of the city? Why has the contribution made by the Marathi people not been mentioned (in the advertisement)," Deshpande had asked.

“Mumbaini Arthik pragatima, baudhik vikasma kon? Aapne Gujrati (Who has contributed to Mumbai’s economic progress and intellectual development? We Gujaratis),” is the advertising line that was used on 200 bus display panels and bus stops in Mumbai.

Responding to this issue, BEST committee chairman Arvind Devji Dudhvadkar said since the remark that the Gujarati community has contributed to the development of Mumbai has hurt the sentiments of another community, especially the Marathis, the posters are being removed.

Dudhvadkar added that in the committee meeting on Friday, the poll body jointly decided that the posters should be removed.

Meanwhile, Congress corporator Pravin Chheda promptly rejected MNS’ claim, saying that the advertisement had no such content.

Treading the same path, Shiv Sena had earlier this month taken spiteful potshots at the Gujarati community living in Maharashtra through an editorial column in its mouthpiece Saamana.

It’s not the first time that both MNS and Shiv Sena have indulged in anti-North Indian activities and there have been several instances in the past when goons from these parties had specifically targeted non-Mumbaikars, especially from the North-Indian belt.

(JPN/Agencies)

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