Cameraperson: Gautam SharmaVideo Editor: Veeru Krishan MohanThere is an overload of hypocrisy by politicians and political parties on Aarey. Here are some facts you should know about the Aarey tree-felling. The permission to cut down more than 2,000 trees was granted by the BMC’s Tree Authority on 29 August. Here’s how the different political parties voted in the all-important meeting where the proposal was passed.Four BJP members, 3 experts and the lone NCP corporator on the Tree Authority were in favour of the tree-felling. Six Shiv Sena corporators were against the proposal. Two Congress corporators chose to boycott the vote.Therefore, the proposal passed with 8 votes in favour and 6 against.The Congress and the NCP have been paying lip service by speaking against the tree-felling. But if they had done so much as cast their votes against it when it mattered, the proposal would have been defeated with 7 votes in favour and 9 against.And the tree-felling wouldn’t have come to pass.The two Congress members, who had promised support to the Sena in opposing the tree-cutting, staged a walkout and chose not to vote. So when Congress leader Milind Deora says that the decision to cut the trees is like “stabbing yourself in the lungs,” he would do well to remember that things could well have gone differently had his own party corporators acted more responsibly.Even NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik took a jibe at the Sena and the BJP. “Now that trees are being felled, where are those environment lovers who banned plastic?” he asked. Senior NCP leader Jitendra Awhad even got detained on 5 October for protesting at Aarey. But NCP’s criticism and protests sound just as hollow, because the sole NCP member on the Tree Authority actually voted in FAVOUR of the tree-felling!Let’s look at the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance now.The two parties have been in opposition to each other on the Aarey issue since 2017. After the tree-felling began on Friday night, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asserted, “Once our government returns to power, we will ensure that the murderers of Aarey are dealt with in the best possible way.” But here’s why we can’t quite take Thackeray’s statement at face value. The BJP has vigorously supported the tree-felling all along, and it is the BJP that is the senior partner in the state government.In fact, in 2017, the BMC general body where the Sena has a majority had voted against reserving land in Aarey Colony for the metro car depot. But that decision was promptly overturned by the Maharashtra state government. The Shiv Sena, being the junior partner in the state, could do nothing about it, despite even the state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam being from the Sena.So how exactly will Uddhav Thackeray act against “the murderers of Aarey”? While Aarey is great for portraying Aaditya as a pro-environment, pro-youth leader, how serious has the Sena been in getting the BJP to budge on this issue? To understand this, let’s look at a standoff between the two parties that took place before the Lok Sabha polls – over the Nanar oil refinery project in the district of Ratnagiri.The Shiv Sena was fiercely opposed to the project, on grounds of environmental destruction and local opposition, just like in the case of Aarey. The Sena made its demand to move the oil refinery out of Nanar, a pre-condition for an alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls. Eventually, the BJP agreed and the Nanar project was scrapped.If Nanar could be made a pre-condition for the Lok Sabha polls alliance, why couldn’t Aarey be made a pre-condition for the Assembly polls alliance? Amidst all the noise being made by political parties on Aarey right now, with days to go before Maharashtra votes and elects a new government, it’s important that we look at their actions, and not just their words. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.