Mumbai: The BJP has proposed to set up NaMo tea-n-snacks stalls in hawking zones across the city in a bid to counter the Shiv Sena’s ‘Shiv vada pav’ outlets. This surely is going to be a tad difficult for the Sena to stomach. Prakash Gangadhare of the BJP, who heads the BMC’s improvements committee, submitted a formal proposal for the ‘NaMo’ eateries named after PM Narendra Modi to the civic administration on Friday.
By any reckoning, Matoshree will find the idea even more unpalatable since the saffron allies who rule the BMC together don’t seem keen to break bread, said experts. The Sena had introduced Shiv vada pav stalls in 2009 to provide employment to locals and most of these stalls are illegal. Earlier in the 90s, the Sena-BJP state government started a scheme to sell ‘zunka-bhakar’ for Re 1. Huge subsidies were given out for several stalls. However, the idea flopped and later the stall owners were allowed to diversify into other cuisines.
“We put a suggestion before the civic authority to consider such (NaMo) stalls in hawking zones and such stalls should be legal. It will help the corporation to earn revenue,” said BJP group leader Manoj Kotak.
Sena leaders said they will react only after the civic chief takes a decision on the stalls, but did not miss the chance to taunt the BJP for proposing to put Modi’s photos on the NaMo stalls. “We have not put photographs of our party chief on Shiv vada pav stalls. We started Shiv vada pav to provide work to the educated unemployed youth. It ensures they do not get into unlawful activities,” said Trushna Vishwasrao, the leader of the house and Shiv Sena corporator.
It is alleged that civic authorities avoid taking action against the illegal Shiv vada pav stalls. Last year, the Congress dared the Sena by putting up an unauthorized kanda-poha stall in Dadar (East) and challenging the civic authorities to act against it. Since then, the opposition parties try to highlight the illegality of such stalls by introducing similar stalls from time to time. The BJP, which kept away from the issue till now, has decided to jump into the fray since the relationship of the ruling partners has been on a downslide.