The Shiv Sena, which has always criticised the trend of dynastic rule in Indian politics, has three members of the Thackeray family campaigning for its victory in the February 16 civic polls.
On Friday, the party announced the campaign schedules of its three star campaigners — Sena chief Bal Thackeray, his son and executive president Uddhav Thackeray and his grandson and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray.
The Sena chief, currently the party’s only campaigner who draws crowd, will address a rally in Thane on February 11 and another one in Mumbai on February 13 at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla Complex.
Thackeray has limited his public rallies because of his old age and will only address the concluding rallies in Mumbai, where the Sena is struggling to retain its power in the municipal corporation, and in Thane, where the party hopes to return to power.
Over the past four decades, Thackeray has frequently lambasted the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, but his son and grandson have been appointed as top leaders of the party he founded.
The municipal polls are an acid test for the Shiv Sena, which had performed very poorly in the 2009 Assembly elections.
For the first time, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have teamed up in a pre-poll alliance in a bid to end the Sena’s 16-year rule in one of India’s richest and most powerful civic bodies.
With the three generations of Thackerays campaigning for it, the Sena has pulled out all stops to convince the Marathi manoos that he must vote for it. As per the schedule, Uddhav Thackeray will address more than 15 rallies in Mumbai and Thane as well as visit Pune and Nashik to campaign for the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Republican Party of India alliance.
The party is projecting Uddhav’s son Aditya as a leader of the masses who will conduct at least 18 road shows and rallies in Mumbai alone.
He will also visit Pune and Solapur. All rallies and road shows will be held between February 5 and 14.