Mumbai: Fans were in for a rude shock as municipal workers pulled down a huge poster honouring Sachin Tendulkar that was put up in front of the Wankhede Stadium, minutes after legend made his way for his swansong game against the West Indies here Thursday.
The huge poster put up by BJP legislator Vinod Tawde was the talking point of the fans, who had lined up in front of Gate No.2 right from early morning at the stadium.
But around 9 a.m., well after the two teams and Tendulkar's family and friends had made their way into the stadium, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers came calling and pulled the poster down, ignoring a huge protest from the fans.
The BMC is ruled by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, and the poster demolition left the BJP legislator stumped.
The official line was since the poster in honour of Tendulkar was put up by a political party it had to be brought down.
It was also a perfect photo opportunity and the BMC workers tried their best to shoo away the shutterbugs but it was futile.
"Why politicise Tendulkar?" a shocked fan said to IANS.
"If any political party put up a poster congratulating Tendulkar, what was the harm in it? Luckily, they brought it down after both the teams and Tendulkar's family and friends made their way into the stadium. Otherwise, it would have been a huge embarrassment for Tendulkar," Akanksha Shah told IANS.
Another fan was amused at the BMC's timing.
"We are shocked at BMC's timing to bring down the poster. What if Tendulkar had witnessed it while passing by?" said Ravi Patel.
While the BMC did its best to bring down the poster at the Wankhede, there were several others, put up by Tawde in honour of Tendulkar that were still glittering all over the city. One such was at the Shivaji Park in Dadar, which was Tendulkar's nursery.