Taking pot shots at coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday questioned why the decision on building the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya was hanging fire when the move to demonetise was effected instantly.Mr. Thackeray was speaking here after a meeting of the Sena’s western Maharashtra unit leaders and party workers to assess poll preparedness.“While the demonetisation decision was taken so quickly, why has the work on Ram Mandir not commenced yet. They [the BJP] had promised it would begin before the elections. Going by the tardy pace, the question is which elections, the 2019 or 2050?” asked Mr. Thackeray.He further accused the BJP of dragging its feet on other vital policy matters like the repudiation of Article 370 of the Constitution and the Uniform Civil Code.“There appears to be no discussion on such important issues now. They appear to have been relegated to the backburner,” said the Sena chief, while demanding to know why the BJP failed to take a clear stance on these matters. He also issued thinly-veiled rebukes to the BJP over the recent controversy over distribution of the Bhagavad Gita to students in select colleges in Mumbai.“This move was taken to cover up the widespread mismanagement prevailing in the University of Mumbai, right from delayed exams to paper leaks. Students today need to be given education relevant to modern times; instead of trying to resolve urgent issues, the State Education Department wants to distribute copies of the Bhagavad Gita,” he said.The Sena president reiterated his party’s opposition to the Nanar Refinery project in Ratnagiri.“Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured that it [Nanar project] will not be imposed if the locals are opposed to it. His assurances notwithstanding, we are with the people of the Konkan region and we shall not allow it to come up,” Mr. Thackeray said.On Mumbai roadsAt the same time, he parried a question on the number of deaths due to potholes in Mumbai and the deplorable condition of roads in the city following heavy showers. “Civic infrastructure and maintenance and repair of roads is everybody’s responsibility,” said Mr. Thackeray, whose party controls the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Craig Ervine provided an important thrust to the innings as Zimbabwe set Kenya a big target and then completed a 161-run rout on Sunday in the last Group A match of the World Cup. ScoreErvine’s stroke-filled 66 stood out in a batting performance that helped Zimbabwe score an imposing 308 for six after electing to bat in the inconsequential match.In reply, Kenya were all out for 147 in 36 overs in the face of some tight bowling by the spinners.Zimbabwe finished with two wins after having beaten Canada earlier in the league, while Kenya remained without a win.Kenya were led by veteran all-rounder Steve Tikolo in his last match after regular captain Jimmy Kamande was ruled out due to a knee injury.Kenya’s batting succumbed in the face of Zimbabwe’s first 300-plus total in the tournament.Ervine provided the impetus amid a strong middle-order batting performance, striking a brisk 66 and adding 105 runs for the fifth wicket with Elton Chigumbura, who made 38.Ervine struck nine fours and a six during his fluent 54-ball knock, during which he often worked the ball cleverly off his legs. He was out in the 48th over when he played on a delivery from pace bowler Elijah Otieno.But the Kenyans got no respite as Prosper Utseya struck 19 off just six balls, including a six and three boundaries off the first four deliveries off the last over of the innings bowled by Otieno.Zimbabwe had earlier made up for two early dismissals as Tatenda Taibu and Vusi Sibanda added 110 for the third wicket in just under 20 overs.advertisementThe partnership was broken due to a mix up that saw both batsmen at the same end. Sibanda had to go back after an entertaining 57-ball 61 in which he hit seven fours and a six to Tikolo that had taken him to his 13th half-century.Taibu struck 53 off 74 balls, completing his 18th half-century as well as 3,000 runs in limited-overs internationals with a well-timed four to the point boundary. But he was out soon after as he tried one reverse-sweep too many against leg-spinner James Ngoche and was trapped lbw.The Kenyan batting line-up struggled from the start.After pace bowler Chris Mpofu provided the initial breakthrough by trapping David Obuya lbw, left-arm spinner Ray Price showed his expertise with the new ball.He removed Tikolo and well-set opener Alex Obanda, both lbw. Collins Obuya was run out and Utseya removed Tanmay Mishra as half the Kenyan side was dismissed by the 12th over.The game meandered on from then with Kenya only ensuring there were no embarrassment, Nehemieh Odhiambo making an unbeaten 44.