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Sena chief flags off civic poll campaign

mumbai Updated: Oct 07, 2011 01:24 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Naresh Kamath

Sounding the bugle for the upcoming civic polls, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Thursday wooed traditional Sena supporters including mill workers, fisher folk and the Bhandari community by saying he will not allow any injustice be done to them.

Making a rare appearance for the party's Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, Thackeray also criticised Team Anna, telling its members not to make a mockery of the fight against corruption.

After a long hiatus, Thackeray came out all guns blazing and spared no one -- from the media, the police force, judiciary, as well as the activists -- with signature acerbic wit and humour.

As the crucial civic elections are barely a few months away and the Sena is facing flak for bad governance, Thackeray tried to reach out to the party’s traditional base. “The mill workers were at the forefront of the formation of this state, and today they have to beg for houses,” he said. “The chief minister has no time for them. This is not done. We will not let to you suffer.”

Thackeray also opposed the government’s suggestion of reclamation, and said: “Who has given you the right to reclaim the sea? I will not allow anyone to snatch the lands of the Kolis, and the Sena will not allow a single brick to be laid.”

Commenting on activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption drive, Thackeray said that while Anna is sincere, his companions like Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi are making a mockery of his campaign. “They have to understand that corruption cannot be eliminated,” remarked Thackeray.

Notably, unlike in his previous rallies, Thackeray avoided making any mention of his estranged nephew Raj. However, he did express unhappiness over the good work done by son Uddhav not getting enough recognition while violent agitations were being played up by the media.

Thackeray reacted sharply to the criticism of Sena-ruled civic body for the bad state of roads and the high court's remarks that it should be locked down if it can't do its job properly. “Potholes are everywhere and not just in Mumbai, but it is our party that is being targetted for them.”

Noise levels at rally surpass specified limit

Mumbai: At Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally on Thursday, noise levels crossed the specified 50 decibels limit at Shivaji Park (a silence zone), but was lower in comparison to last year’s rally.

The noise levels recorded by Aawaz Foundation, an NGO working to contain noise levels in the city, revealed that the Shiv Sena patriarch, Bal Thackeray was the softest amongst all the speakers in the rally.

“The noise levels were between 57 and 85 decibels. It peaked to 85 decibels during the first speech rendered by Sena member Ramdas Kadam,” said Sumaira Abdulali, president, Aawaz Foundation. “During the five-hour rally, the average noise emitted was around 72 decibels.”

On September 26, the Bombay high court, while granting permission to the Shiv Sena to hold the rally, had directed it to abide by the Noise Pollution Control Rules.

Last year, the levels were between 65 and 93.2 decibels. Unlike last year, the Sena did not burst crackers at the rally this year, leading to less noise levels. HTC