Large Part of Blame on Pedestrians: BJP ‘Intellectual’ Cell Member on Mumbai Foot Overbridge Collapse
BJP's Sanju Verma also said that she did not believe this incident highlighted a "governance deficit".
A foot overbridge collapsed near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station in Mumbai. At least five people died and more than 30 people were injured. But while the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Railways are busy shifting blame on each other, a Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson has outdone both and blamed the collapse on pedestrians.
On Times Now, speaking to anchor Navika Kumar, Sanju Verma, the chief spokesperson and co-convener of the Intellectual Cell of BJP Mumbai said, “It hate to say this. Yes, my heart goes out to the five people who are reportedly dead; because they did not deserve this. Having said this, I would not agree to (sic) the fact that there is a governance deficit…”
After being interjected by the anchor, Verma continued, “Navika, I have been closely monitoring this, and as you rightly pointed out, in the last two years, there have been two major bridge collapses in Mumbai. The Elphinstone one and the Gokhale bridge in July 2018. I know you will not agree with this, but the fact remains that in both the cases, a large part of the blame — for want of a better word — was on pedestrians who did not pay any…”
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 14, 2019
Verma’s words were, following that, drowned under the indignation of the anchor and her fellow panellists. This comment has obviously not gone down well with the public. On Twitter, the BJP was criticised by one and all.
Yes pedestrians are to blame. We all deserve to die. Everyone except BJP & Sena are to blame. https://t.co/kIVVd1Fz0J
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) March 14, 2019
Minorities are wrong
Student activists are wrong
Liberals are wrong
Women are wrong
Farmers are wrong
Dalits are wrong
Opposition is wrong
Journalists are wrong
Academics are wrong
Nehru is wrong
Kashmiris are wrong
Twitter is wrong
Pedestrians are wrong
Only BJP is right? https://t.co/tXpAiNeqpF
— Zainab Sikander (@zainabsikander) March 14, 2019
APPALLING: BJP spokesperson @Sanju_Verma_ says "pedestrian are to be blamed" for their deaths.
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) March 14, 2019
A large part of the blame was on the Indian voters for electing in 2014 these inhuman idiots! https://t.co/2VJBxHSCEg
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) March 14, 2019
So now incase we die due to infrastructure issues in Mumbai…@Sanju_Verma_ will blame us for using that particular infrastructure? Bridge logo ke chalne ke liye nahi banaya tha? Hadd hai https://t.co/Pg7Du5ClOt
— Vishakha Joshi (@VishakhaJ18) March 14, 2019
Now the BJP is blaming citizens for collapse of all bridges in Mumbai. It is BJP Govt in centre, in state & BMC and the blame for bad maintenance of Infra goes to tax paying citizens of Mumbai. Do you want such heartless shameless people to Govern the Country for next five years? https://t.co/IYDP5vt7WO
— Amit Mehra (@amitmehra) March 14, 2019
— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) March 14, 2019
Do people really have to sell their souls when they join a political party? She blames pedestrians walking on the footbridge for the bridge collapsing and people dying!! Way too shameful!!! 🙁 https://t.co/w1iVCr7VdH
— Shivam Shankar Singh (@ShivamShankarS) March 14, 2019
As per multiple reports, eyewitnesses said that the foot overbridge was being used despite repair-work being undertaken on it on the morning of March 14. Speaking to ANI, Maharashtra minister and BJP leader Vinod Tawde said that the bridge was not in a bad condition and only required minor repairs, as he questioned why it was not closed until repair-work was completed. He also said that an investigation into the bridge collapse incident would be undertaken jointly by the BMC and the Railways.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced an ex gratia of Rs five lakh for the families of those who died in the bridge collapse incident. He also announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the injured, adding that the state government would provide for their treatment.