The Shiv Sena will celebrate the party’s golden anniversary on Sunday through a series of events to be held across the city and a mega event at the NSE grounds in Goregaon. The public meeting, to be held on Sunday evening, will see Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray address party cadre.
The event comes when the party continues to be locked in a tussle with the BJP, most recently over issues in the city, from the irregularities in the roads works to the construction of the Metro-3 line. Speaking to HT, Uddhav said that he wouldn’t stop criticising the BJP, stating that he had not merged his party with the BJP to go soft on it.
With the civic polls eight months away, party cadre will wait to get an insight into what the Sena leadership’s plans are.
The Sena’s celebrations through the day are likely to revolve around the message of ‘Samyukta Maharashtra’ or a United Maharashtra, intended to be a snub to the BJP, which has been vocal in its support for a separate Vidarbha. “We will be having marches and bike rallies among other things. Through this, we will convey our commitment to people in ensuring that the state remains united,” said a Sena vibhag-pramukh.
The party plans to show a film depicting the Sena’s 50-year journey along with celebrating the life of late Sena chief Bal Thackeray. The Sena will also be showcasing its work in the drought-affected region of Marathwada.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Uddhav took a potshot at the Fadnavis-led government while reviewing the drought-relief works carried out by his party under its flagship ‘Shiv Jal Kranti’ scheme.
“We don’t believe in boasting. We deliver what we promise. Our ‘Shiv Jal Kranti Yojana’ is the best example for that,” Uddhav said in Osmanabad on Saturday.
His statement was a clear attack on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who never fails to mention the success of his pet project ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ when discussing the issue of drought.
Uddhav Thackeray was in Osamanabad and Solapur district to review the success of the water conservation scheme started by the party last year. Despite being a part of the government, Sena had initiated its own party-funded scheme ‘Shiv Jal Kranti Yojana’ in Marathwada in 2015. The objective was to provide relief to farmers by developing ponds and water conservation works but it was also seen as a scheme to counter ‘Jalyukt Shivar’.
At Osmanabad, Uddhav further took on the state government for rising the prices of seeds procured by state-run body — Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Limited (Mahabeej) by 25 to 50%.
“Though the chief minister stayed the hike on Tuesday, farmers have already bought seeds and hence the move will make no difference for them now,” he said.