Sena chief to sound bugle for civic polls in Dussehra rally
Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to sound the bugle for the Mumbai civic polls at the party’s annual Dussehra rally on Friday.
For a second year in a row, the traditional Dussehra rally of the party would be held indoors. The Sena has organised the gathering at Shanmukhananda Hall in Sion, where key party leaders, ministers, key functionaries, Mumbai Mayor, among others, will remain present. For Sena workers, the rally will be broadcast online.
With the BMC elections around four months away, the rally will be a platform for Thackeray to launch the party’s campaign for the civic body election. Traditionally in the Dussehra rally, the Sena chief gives directions to the party cadre on its programme for next year. Mumbai, Thane and other key local body polls will be held early next year. Sena insiders said a presentation will also be made, showcasing various developmental work undertaken by the Sena-controlled civic body in Mumbai over the past five years.
A party functionary said, “Over the past five years, the BMC has taken up several projects, including civic infrastructure roads and bridges, sanitation, the coastal road project, and started municipal schools with ICSE curriculum, among other things. A detailed presentation of all the various development work carried out by us will be made in the gathering.”
Thackeray’s speech on Friday evening will also be the first time where he will address a gathering as the party chief after a gap of few months. He is expected to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the BJP-led central government over the alleged use of central agencies against Sena ministers and key party functionaries.
Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that Thackeray will give a befitting reply to political opponents who were engaged in a “campaign” against the Shiv Sena leader in the past few months. “In the last two years, some people did not have any other work and had started a campaign [to defame Shiv Sena]. A befitting reply will be given to this [by Thackeray]... Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will speak on national politics and about Maharashtra. Besides that, he will also speak about developments in the State,” said Raut, who is also the chief spokesperson of the party.
In an apparent attack on the Centre over the rising fuel prices, Raut said that the Dussehra rally will mark the beginning of the end for the government. He said, “We have to burn the Ravana of the rising fuel prices in 2024. We will start this from tomorrow’s ‘Ravana dahana’ (the ritual of burning effigies of demon king Ravana).”
Shivaji Park lit up
Shivaji Park has been completely illuminated with the use of MLC funds of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The project includes illumination of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue, for the first time since it was installed in 1966. Its illumination includes LED projector lights, which will highlight the various facets of the statue, linear wash lights to highlight the pedestal of the statue, LED strips along groove of the pedestal, LED ‘mashal’ lights on four sides of the statue, which will give the effect of a burning flame, spike lights along the statue for beautification of plants, among others.
42 LED multi-colour globe lights along the pathway have also been installed, along with colour changing projector lights to highlight waterfall and trees near Bengal Club, 25 decorative bollards along the pathway, LED up lights to highlight facade of Meenatai Thackeray statue,
The lights and fittings have been imported from Italy and will be a permanent feature of the park.
Lights will be operated online like change of colours of light of statue, globe lights. Cost of the project, including annual maintenance, is Rs1.25 crore.