Mumbai: According to a news report by news website IndiaNewsNetwork.IN, the doublespeak and hypocrisy of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was completely exposed on Sunday morning (Valentine’s Day) when BJP MP (Mumbai North) Gopal Shetty and Mumbai BJP spokesperson Yogesh Verma got lingerie and intimate apparel brand Valentine to completely sponsor the Malad Marathon which was inaugurated by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis and Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde.
BJP party workers were seen sporting T-shirts and other gear prominently displaying the Valentine Brand with a heart-shaped logo.
The IndiaNewsNetwork.IN report, quoted a prominent social worker from IC Colony, Borivali, Jonathan De Souza who runs the social forum Serenity Support, “On one hand the BJP and the RSS have called for a ban on Valentine Day celebrations nationwide, and here in Mumbai the BJP got a bra and panty (innerwear and intimate wear) brand to sponsor the Marathon by paying them around Rs 30 lakh. On behalf of Serenity Support we had approached top BJP leaders in North Mumbai to be part of the Marathon. They asked us to contribute Rs 10 lakh if we wanted to be part of their event. Serenity Support is a social organization and we do not have any funds or source of income. My wife and I support our social activities from our own personal incomes and salaries. The BJP party leaders in Kandivli-Borivali who were organizing the event demanded huge sums of money from us. Now they have got a Bra and Panty brand (sic) to chip in Rs 30 lakh for the event. This clearly proves that the BJP is only interested in making money by any means.”
The Congress in Mumbai also condemned the incident. A Congress spokesperson told IndiaNewsNetwork.IN, “The BJP is a party of hypocrites, liars, frauds and cheaters. They will not hesitate to rope in cigarette, alcohol, condom and lingerie brands for sponsorship of their events where huge sums of money can be made. Today’s incident just proves the point.”
Malad MLA Aslam Sheikh (Congress) also condemned the double speak of the BJP and said the BJP is a party that does not practice what it preaches. They are all wolves in a lamb’s clothes, Sheikh told IndiaNewsNetwork.IN.
Local Congress leader from Malad, Manohar Oza also condemned the incident saying the BJP is a party with two faces. One face for the public and another face for themselves.
The BJP’s alliance partner in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and its leaders kept a safe distance from the event.
BJP MP Gopal Shetty and organizer Yogesh Verma were not available for comment. CM Devendra Phadnavis did not answer our telephone calls and MOS Ram Shinde was busy with PM Narendra Modi’s Make In India programme at BKC in Mumbai and refused on speak on the issue.
Bollywood celebs Vivek Oberoi and Hema Malini who were supposed to attend were conspicuous by their absence.
Intimate, sports and inner wear brand Valentine is promoted by the Harshad Thakkar led Ashapura Intimates Fashion Ltd. According to the company website, AIFL, incorporated in 2006 is a fashion house that designs, brands, markets and retails intimate garments for men, women and children. The company is in the business of designing, branding, marketing and retailing clothing products such as lounge wear, intimate wear, sleep wear, bridal night wear, honeymoon sets bathrobes, women inner wear, sportswear and kids lounge wear under the brand name ‘Valentine’. Ashapura Intimates Fashion Ltd (AIFL) was listed on the BSE, SME, & IPO segment in 2013 and on 3rd June, 2015 the company has migrated to BSE Main Board. The Company has a current market capitalization of approximately INR 5 BN.
Thakkar who hails from Gujarat is very close to top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogesh Verma, IndiaNewsNetwork.IN had claimed in its report.