Sena, MNS woo Mumbai voters with cards

It is election time and Mumbaiites will be voting to elect people to rule the BMC early next year, writes Sanjeev Shivadekar.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2006 21:08 IST

After fighting it out on the streets of Mumbai, it is time for some Diwali goodies. Rivals Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) are sending greeting cards to Mumbaiites on the occasion of Diwali festival beginning next week.

It is not quite common for political parties to make their voters feel a little better but then it is the election time-Mumbaiites will be voting to elect the people to rule the BMC early next year.

Just like any piece of paper published by Sena ever, even the greeting card has its charismatic chief Bal Thackeray wishing all Hindus a happy Diwali. "Shiv Sena is the only hope to protect the motherland," declares the card being circulated by Sena's local leaders among their voters. And predictably Thackeray's message is: "My only wish is to end terrorism." No guesses what will be the Sena's poll plank.

Comparatively, the cards printed by MNS leaders are low profile. Just like the Sena card, it has Raj Thackeray wishing the citizens for the festival and promising creation of a better Maharashtra.

Mahim and Dadar assembly constituency head of the MNS, Yashwant Killedar said: "The cards would be distributed among the party cadre, leaders and in the vicinity of Dadar to greet them on festival."

He said his party has organised environmental friendly fire works for children at Shivaji Park on the first day of the festival.

Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, too, is not behind.

The party units are sending paper lamps (called kandeel among Maharashtrians) as wishes to the citizens in certain areas.

Party General Secretary Bharti Lavekar said: "Our party has been sending such greetings for years and has nothing to do with politics. It is a co-incidence that the festival comes a few months ahead of the civic polls and that is why people try to associate such event with politics," she added further.

Sena is also wooing the fisherfolks in Mumbai.
One of the natives of the city, they have 5 lakh votes. On Tuesday, at a function at Mayor's bungalow, party Executive President Uddhav Thackeray will be handing over licenses to women from fisher folk community to sell fish in 68 fish- markets in Mumbai.

First Published: Oct 16, 2006 21:08 IST