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Freebies flow on Uddhav’s birthday

india Updated: Jul 27, 2009 01:31 IST
Rajendra Aklekar
Freebies flow on Uddhav’s birthday

Free plastic mobile covers, umbrellas, notebooks, fruits, sweets, arranging for PAN cards at concession rates, planting saplings, inaugurating ambulances and even free medical checkups.

Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai are competing with each other like never before to distribute freebies for party executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s birthday on Monday.

Political observers say the list this time is unusually longer with an eye on the upcoming assembly polls.

“Local Sena leaders do not just want to please their votebank in their respective areas, but also want to show the party’s top leadership that they are active in their areas as most of them are vying for tickets during the polls,” an expert said.

Thackeray, who completes 49 years on July 27, had warned on Saturday that he will not be tolerant to those leaders and legislators who have been inactive and that they will not get a second chance.

The party will give out tickets for the assembly polls on merit.

“Some seats will have to be exchanged with the BJP and some inactive candidates replaced. We will finalise a list soon,” Thackeray said on Saturday during a function to induct Indian Idol singer Abhijit Sawant into the party.

After the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the party has been taking a review of ground-level party workers and reshuffling local party heads by replacing “non-performers” and unpopular leaders.

While the Sena unit in Vikhroli is distributing umbrellas, the one at Chembur is distributing plastic mobile covers.

Sena leaders at Ghatkopar will inaugurate a new ambulance, a shakha in south Mumbai will offer PAN cards at concession rates.