CM fails to pay tribute to Shastri

For the second consecutive year, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan skipped paying tribute to Lal Bahadur Shastri at his memorial on his birthday commemoration. Mr Chavan paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Mantralaya, but did not visit the Lal Bahadur Shastri memorial, a stone’s throw away from the Mantralaya. The CM’s omission to pay tribute to the beloved leader of the country has irked Lal Bahadur Shastri’s followers, who have demanded an immediate apology from the CM.
“It looks like Mr Chavan, who claims to have a clean image, has no regard for Shastriji, who has also always had a squeaky clean reputation. We had invited him on September 23 through a letter, but unfortunately he did not come this year also, like last year,” said Harishchandra Bibvekar, president of Shastri Rashtriya Yuwak Kendra, an NGO that promotes Lal Bahadur Shastri’s views.
The only memorial of Lal Bahadur Shastri in Mumbai was constituted by late Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2007 near Regal Cinema and he diligently paid his respects to the former PM every year. Later, chief minister Ashok Chavan also used pay tribute every year. This statue was constituted by a special provision passed by BMC.
When contacted, Anil Shastri, the elder son of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, termed it extremely unfortunate and said, “When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi can travel 15 kilometres to pay tribute to Lal Bahadur Shastri in Delhi, how can Mr Chavan refuse to travel 400 meters in Mumbai?”
Repeated attempts to reach the CM failed. However, a source in the Congress party said, “One of the CM’s bodyguards had a scuffle with a TV reporter at the Mahatma Gandhi statue. I think that may have prevented him from visiting Lal Bahadur Shastri’s statue.
However, he added that Mr Chavan later offered his tribute to the veteran leader in a separate programme organised by MRCC.

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