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Gujarat Assembly polls: Ask your relatives to vote for us, Shiv Sena tells Mumbai’s Gujaratis

According to estimates, around 42 lakh Gujaratis live in Mumbai.

mumbai Updated: Dec 01, 2017 21:53 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Gujarat Assembly polls,Shiv Sena,Gujarati community
Shiv Sena’s entry to the fray for Gujarat is being viewed as a plan to hurt the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chances.(HT File)

As the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls is less than 10 days away, the Shiv Sena is now tapping into Mumbai’s Gujarati community. The party, which is contesting around 65 seats in Gujarat, has given its Mumbai MLAs the task of campaigning in Gujarati-dominated areas in the city.

“Some leaders and MLAs have been told to spread the word in their respective constituencies. The idea is that many Gujaratis who live in Mumbai have relatives in Gujarat, so they can speak to them about the Sena,” said a senior party functionary, who is involved in the campaign.

According to estimates, around 42 lakh Gujaratis live in Mumbai.

Shiv Sena’s entry to the fray for Gujarat is being viewed as a plan to hurt the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chances. The BJP is currently facing anti incumbency after having ruled the state for 22 years.

The ties between the saffron parties have soured over the past few years. Sena MP Anil Desai, who is in-charge of the Sena’s poll plan in Gujarat, said, “We are speaking to Gujaratis in Mumbai. MLAs have been told to speak to the community in their respective constituencies.”

A party leader added that though the community has traditionally been a steadfast supporter of the BJP, a lot of its members are unhappy with the government’s decisions, which have hurt traders and businessmen.

Last month, HT reported that the community was divided over its support for the BJP. “We will continue to target the BJP over demonetisation and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The community is upset with the BJP and we want to use it to our advantage,” the leader said.

Desai added that MPs, MLAs and some Maharashtra ministers will campaign for the party in the coming days. “Maharashtra ministers Dadaji Dagadu Bhuse, Eknath Shinde, Gulab Raghunath Patil will go to Gujarat for and campaign, along with MPs Chandrakant Khaire, Rahul Shewale,” he said.

Sena wins in UP

The Sena won a seat in the Allahabad Municipal Corporation election. Deepesh Kumar Yadav won from the Mutthi Ganj Part-I constituency (ward 40). Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray took to twitter to celebrate Sena’s first victory in the state and said that the party would continue to “work hard and win hearts” there.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 21:52 IST