Mumbai, Aug 9: Maharashtra government's decision to to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the historic 1942-freedom movement as 'Quit India-2' has invited criticism from Opposition Congress which has termed the decision as "disrespect" to freedom fighters.
To mark the day, the BJP-Shiv Sena government has given a few advertisements in local dailies with the slogan 'Quit India-2', calling for eradication of illiteracy, farmer suicides, wastage of water, corruption, alcoholism etc. The initiative will be launched on Tuesday.
Terming this slogan as "disrespectful" to the heroic efforts of freedom fighters, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said, "I have strong objection over the way this Government, party (BJP) and RSS people are trying to celebrate this historic occasion."
"By launching another slogan, the government and RSS are trying to dilute the historic importance of that movement. BJP and RSS are doing this as their leaders do not find their names in the archives of freedom movement," he said.
Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar, however, trashed Nirupam's allegations, saying it was his "old habit" to level "baseless" allegations against the saffron outfit.
The former MP said the programme has been launched by the state government not by his party or RSS.
"He (Nirupam) should at least must know who is the organiser. Its a programme launched by the government, not by any BJP MLA. As far as the slogan is concerned, Nirupam must realise Quit India movement was relevant during the days of fight for Swaraj. Now a days, relevance of that movement lies in wiping out corruption, illiteracy, farmer suicides etc."
Shelar said when in power, Congress could never conceptualise such a celebration and it was now finding it hard to digest the BJP-led government's initiative.
Nirupam alleged discrimination by civic authorities in granting permission for erecting pandals at Azad Maidan here.
Congress sought permission from civic authorities 20 days ago to erect a pandal (a temporary structure) at the sprawling ground in South Mumbai, he said.
"But we were denied permission by municipal officials, but a BJP MLA has started erecting a big pandal at the same site without getting permission," Nirupam said.