Sena tries to regain foothold in Konkan
The Shiv Sena is going back to where it began from. The coastal area of Konkan that it had lost control over for the past few years is back on its radar as the Sena seems to be strategically planning to regain hold on their lost bastion.
It began with standing by locals and opposing the Jaitapur nuclear plant and it went on to creating a hue and cry about the theft of the golden Ganesh idol at Diveagar.
Among more recent demands made by the party for the region include demanding 49 water-scarce talukas from the Konkan region to be brought in the drought list and Tuesday’s demand for improving the Mumbai-Goa highway to become a four-lane one upto Sindhudurg.
“Konkan has been our strength and a largely ignored area. Politicians from other parties who claim to be caretakers of the area have done nothing,” said Sena legislator Vinayak Raut, who was recently nominated to the state legislative council and is the unofficial coordinator of the Konkan plan.
Till July 2005, industries minister and former chief minister Narayan Rane was the face of the Sena in Konkan until he joined the Congress.
In the recent local civic elections, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) scored over the Congress and has claimed its stake on Konkan; it bagged 119 out of 355 civic body seats.
NCP ministers including ministers of state for urban development Bhaskar Jadhav and irrigation minister Sunil Tatkare have become a major challenge for the Sena.