Maharashtra Day celebrations in the city on Tuesday were largely low-key, with major political parties preferring to organise functions at the ward-level. Both Shiv Sena and its rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), known for their grand celebrations on Maharashtra Day, preferred to keep things down.
Both parties organised events such as drawing and singing competitions for children, cooking contest for ladies musical programmes, and poojas in some wards.
Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray visited drought-prone areas of Jawhar and Mokhada with his supporters early in the morning and supplied tanker water to these villages. “We filled the wells of the villages and were moved by the fact that a single step could save 500 lives,” Thackeray said. He said that programme would be continued till the monsoon.
Political analysts say parties have muted celebrations as they know that the day doesn't mean much for the younger generation. “The new generation hardly knows of the formation of the state… There is large scale cynicism and disenchantment with the political class. The overall mood in the state is not very good,” said Venkatesh Kumar, a political expert.
However politicos denied that the celebrations were low-key. “We celebrated [Maharashtra Day] with all enthusiasm and also sensitised the youth about our state and its history,” said Sena corpoartor Meraz Shaikh. MNS leader Chetan Pednekar said the party focused on grass-root level programmes. “There were events across the city… they may seem low key this year only because we celebrated the golden jubilee last year,” said Pednekar.