NCP turns to warrior king Shivaji, plans Maharashtra tour next week
The move comes at the time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the launch of its statewide ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ from August 1, and Aaditya Thackeray, Yuva Sena chief and son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, is on a month-long statewide tour, ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’.Updated: Aug 01, 2019, 02:54 IST
Struggling with defections, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) plans to launch a state-wide tour, ‘Shiv Swarajya Yatra’, from August 6, with actor and Shirur MP Amol Kolhe and Satara MP and descendant of the warrior king Udayanraje Bhonsle as its face. Kolhe had played Shivaji in a Marathi TV series.
The move comes at the time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the launch of its statewide ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ from August 1, and Aaditya Thackeray, Yuva Sena chief and son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, is on a month-long statewide tour, ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’.
The NCP has planned a three-phase yatra, covering western Maharashtra, Vidarbha, north Maharashtra, Konkan and Marathwada. “The first phase will start from Junnar near Pune, which houses Shivneri fort, the birthplace of Shivaji, and culminate at Sindkhed Raja in Buldhana district, the birthplace of Jijamata, Shivaji’s mother,” said a senior NCP leader.
The last phase will culminate at Raigad Fort, Shivaji’s capital, on August 28.
In 2014, the BJP had started its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra from Raigad Fort. Then Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi visited the fort on January 5, 2014. The party also coined a poll slogan in Shivaji’s name — ‘Shiv Chhatrapati ka ashirwad, chalo chale Modi ke saath’. (With blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji, let us all go along with Modi).
“The idea is have a statewide campaign on the lines of what the BJP did in 2014. Also, we have two faces who are related to Chhatrapati Shivaji. Bhonsle is the 13th descendent of the king, while Kolhe is popular for playing Shivaji’s role in a TV series,” said another NCP leader. “It can also be seen as the NCP’s campaign for the upcoming state Assembly polls,” he said.