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Shiv Sena wooing Christian community

Residents in Immaculate Conception (IC) Colony are receiving handbills from the Sena wishing them on church feast, reports Sanjeev Shibvadekar .

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 21:25 IST

Under the threat of getting marginalised following two successive splits, the Shiv Sena is trying to win some more friends and votes.

Little wonder, that the residents in Immaculate Conception (IC) Colony at Borivli are receiving handbills from the Sena wishing them on the occasion of the church feast, celebrated over last weekend.

Knowing that henceforth it would be tough for the Shiv Sena to win elections just on the ‘Hindutva’ agenda, especially after the weakening of the party and post the exit of senior party leaders like Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray, the Sena has started wooing Christians. Members of the Christian community largely dominate IC Colony.

Vinod Ghosalkar, Sena’s Vibhag Pramukh from north Mumbai parliamentary constituency said, “It’s a good thing. What’s wrong if any party wishes any community for their festival?”

He further pointed that it is not for the first time that the party is doing something with regard to the Christian community. “Anthony Britto, a Christian from Malad was elected for three terms on a Sena ticket,” he insisted further.

Another senior leader from the party who is not authorised to speak to the media, said on condition of anonymity: “No political party is in a position to get clear majority for the forthcoming civic elections, hence winning every seat will be of great help for any party while choosing the mayor.”

He further pointed that in areas like Bandra, Santacruz, Malad and Borivli, the votes of the Christian community would be vital ones and that the party should think of winning voters from this community.

According to the all India Christian Council, there are more than 7 lakh Christians in the city. Dr Abraham Mathai, General secretary of the All India Christian Council pointed out that if any political party is really concerned about these large number of voters, then it should be backed by equal number of representation while distributing of tickets for the civic elections. “If Christians do not get enough representation, then such act by any party would sound political,” he rued further.

Earlier, party Executive President Uddhav Thackeray in attempt to woo the second largest community in Mumbai and surrounding cities--the North Indians had urged North Indians to join hands with the Sena.

“Both, Marathi and Bhojpuri societies are hardcore ‘Hindutvawadi’ and both should join hands to fight terrorism by burying their differences,” he had said while addressing a Bhojpuri Sammelan at Thane.

After banner of revolt raised by Raj and former party leader Narayan Rane, Sena for the first time would go for corporation polls in coming year.

First Published: Dec 11, 2006 21:25 IST