Wave black flags at Rahul Gandhi to show him he is not welcome, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray ordered his followers on Thursday.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Mumbai on Friday for a Youth Congress memberships drive.
He has been in the Sena’s crosshairs ever since his recent comments in Bihar that Mumbai belongs to all Indians and that commandoes from north India and other parts of the country rescued the city during the 26/11 terror attack.
“The Congress’s Italian prince Rahul Gandhi is coming on a tour of Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai,” said Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut. “He will be greeted with black flags all over the city as per the directions of Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.”
Cong nervous ahead of visit
A worried state Congress, meanwhile, is making elaborate security arrangements to ensure it is not embarrassed during the Gandhi scion’s visit.
These arrangements include a chopper to take the party leader from the airport to Vikhroli, from where he will drive the short distance to his first meeting. The party has also issued photo ID passes to students from about 10 colleges, restricting entry to the interactive event.
“Cancelling the event would mean a victory for the Sena. So we’re keeping it on,” said a senior Youth Congress leader. “But yes, our senior leaders are a worried lot.”
Gandhi will be in the city from 9.30 am to 2 pm and will address college students at Bhaidas Hall in Vile Parle and interact with the slumdwellers at the Dalit-dominated Ramabai Nagar in Ghatkopar.