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BJP, RPI activists collect fund to save INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant

In a bid to save decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant from being auctioned, BJP and RPI activists today staged demonstration in the city…
INS VikrantMumbai: In a bid to save decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant from being auctioned, BJP and RPI activists today staged demonstration in the city and in a symbolic gesture collected money to maintain it.

“We want Congress-led government to save INS Vikrant. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan says that the Maharashtra government does not have money to maintain the ship. The government wants to set up casino on the ship,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya told reporters.

If the government does not have the funds, we are ready to raise it by reaching out to the people, he said.

He alleged that while the government indulged in corruption worth thousands of crores, it did not have Rs 140 crore to maintain INS Vikrant, which is the nation’s pride.

Somaiya, who along with his party workers collected money at Churchgate station, said that the amount would be handed over to Maharashtra Governor K Sanarnarayanan.

“We will also ask him how much more money does the government need for the maintenance of INS Vikrant,” he said.

The cadres of Ramdas Athawale led RPI also protested and collected money at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

The RPI workers condemned the state government for showing inability to maintain the ship, which played a significant role during the 1971 war.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ruled by the Shiv Sena-BJP has also come forward to save the ship.

BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale in a letter to Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte has requested him to make additional provision in the next year’s civic budget for the maintenance of INS Vikrant.

The civic body had been making a provision of Rs 25 crore since last 3-4 years to save the ship.

But since the paperwork was not done on time, the amount which was allocated for INS Vikrant got lapsed, a civic official said.

Meanwhile, Shewale has requested Kunte to include the lapsed amount into the next year’s civic budget while making additional fund allocation for the maintenance of the ship.

PTI

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