New Delhi: In the fight for who gets the Shiv Sena — party name, symbol and all — former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray today told the Election Commission that the faction led by Eknath Shinde cannot claim the bow-an-arrow symbol as he and other MLAs in his camp had "voluntarily quit the party".The commission had asked Team Thackeray to respond to the claim by Eknath Shinde on the symbol for the upcoming assembly bypoll in Andheri East segment, the first such contest since Thackeray government was unseated in June.Eknath Shinde, who became Chief Minister after the Sena mutiny backed by the BJP, has majority of the party's legislators on his side in the assembly and Parliament. His faction has even managed to get its members recognised as the Shiv Sena leaders.But Uddhav Thackeray, who technically remains the party chief, has told the panel that the Shinde camp's legislators should not be counted because a disqualification plea against them is before the Supreme Court.He is now gathering affidavits of support from party members — the target is over 5 lakh — to hold on to the party his father, Bal Thackeray, founded over 50 years ago. Mr Shinde, too, claims Bal Thackeray's "true legacy of Hindutva".A court battle is on over whether the anti-defection law can unseat Mr Shinde and his MLAs. On the face of it, they have the two-third strength among party legislators to avoid disqualification.But the Election Commission looks at the support of party units, too — hence, the affidavits.The Shinde faction's claim to the symbol was primarily seen as a bid to deny it to the Thackeray group, and thus keep it in abeyance until a final decision on the "real" Sena is taken. Its immediate target is the November 3 bypoll, for which Team Thackeray has fielded Rutuja Latke, widow of Ramesh Latke whose death necessitated the election.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comTeam Shinde is backing the candidate of ally BJP, Murji Patel, a municipal corporator.The Congress and the NCP have decided to support the candidate of the Thackeray faction, their partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi that had come into being after Mr Thackeray broke up with the BJP "over leadership issues" after the 2018 polls.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday condemned Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray's statements about the minor grandson of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde during the Dussehra rally on October 5 and dubbed them as being of "low standard".During his speech, Thackeray had attacked CM Shinde as he referred to his son (Lok Sabha MP Shrikant Shinde) as a brat and said his one-and-half-year-old grandson Rudransh has an eye on the corporator's post.Addressing a press conference here after chairing a district planning committee meeting, Fadnavis said, "I feel very bad that a leader like Uddhavji mentions Eknath Shinde's grandson and comments on it. This is very low standard. Thackeray should publicly take back his words." "Where are headed to in Maharashtra if we are commenting on a one-and-half-year-old child? I express strong displeasure at such comments," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader added.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn a query about Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar meeting, Fadnavis said such interactions have been going on (among the opposition) for the past seven to eight years but all in vain as Prime Minister Narendra Modi lives in the heart of the people.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
A day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s Dussehra rally at Dadar’s Shivaji Park, the state BJP on Thursday dismissed his speech as lacklustre and directionless and said that it was a replay of the same old script, with nothing new to offer.“Shimgya var bolaycha nasta,” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Marathi on Thursday, meaning you do not take words muttered during Holi seriously. The subtle message was that Uddhav had failed to meet expectations and issue clear directions to his followers on D-Day.“I don’t think the Thackeray speech has anything new to offer to people. It is high time he changed his scriptwriter. How long can you repeat the same old tape?” Fadnavis asked.In two separate rallies on Wednesday, Uddhav and rebel Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde laid claim to Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray’s legacy.On Thursday, drawing a parallel between the two rallies, Fadnavis said, “Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in his speech elaborated on what work he is doing. He spoke of present and future plans for Maharashtra. This aspect was missing when Uddhav Thackeray was CM. As he was always in Shiv Sena president mode, he never spoke like a CM.”Fadnavis also praised Shinde for his ability to draw a mammoth crowd at the BKC rally. “The BKC ground is twice as big as Shivaji Park but it was filled to maximum capacity. It has shown who is holding the reins of real Shiv Sena,” the deputy chief minister asserted.At the Shivaji Park rally, Uddhav’s no-holds-barred attack was not limited to the Shinde camp – whom he referred to as “parasites” – but also included the BJP. From inflation and border disputes with Pakistan and China to the exodus of mega projects from Maharashtra to Gujarat, several issues were raked up. “Amit Shah has become an in-house home minister. His role is to bring down elected state governments. I give him an open challenge to get back PoK. There is infiltration from China along the borders which has to be dealt with firmly,” Uddhav had said.Thackeray even directed his ire against Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio, by drawing attention to police excesses against Shiv Sainiks. “Is there law and order? Why are our leaders identified and subjected to harassment?” he had questioned.The BJP, however, dismissed Uddhav’s criticism as mindless rumbling.“The work of PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is known to the world. Whether it was the abrogation of Article 370 or action against Pakistan, the central leadership has proved itself many times,” BJP state General Secretary Shrikant Bharatiya said.Another BJP office bearer said, “It is ridiculous that Uddhav, who cannot hold his own party intact, is issuing a challenge to Amit Shah. Seriously, he should introspect why his own Sainiks have left him and joined Shinde.”State BJP vice president Prasad Lad said, “Thackeray’s speech had no content. He could not reassure his own followers. It was a poor show. Apart from some taunts against BJP and Shinde, it had nothing. It was absolutely bogus.”While admitting that they knew Thackeray was bound to criticise BJP, many said that he failed to decide who was his number one political rival. So, part of his speech was an attack on Shinde and the rest on BJP, they said.In his speech, Uddhav also referred to RSS General Secretary Dattatreya Hosbale, who had recently voiced concerns over poverty and inflation. Uddhav praised the RSS leader for criticising the central leadership for failing to address core issues.“RSS leaders often, in private or public, speak about national issues of public concern. In that context, it was not unprecedented for Hosbale to tick off the Centre for failing to check inflation or poverty. It is also a part of a strategy to play the role of an in-house constructive opposition,” a senior BJP functionary said.
Three days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde gave “pride of place” to Uddhav Thackeray’s estranged family members at his Dussehra rally, Kirti Phatak, daughter of his paternal aunt, called it an insult to Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy.“Chief Minister Eknath Shinde keeps harping on carrying on the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray. And in the same vein, he felicitated those who hurt the Sena supremo during his lifetime” Phatak told The Indian Express on Friday.Phatak’s mother Sanjeevan Karandikar, who died in May, was Balasaheb’s younger sister. The family lives in Pune.Stating that she had nothing to do with politics, Phatak said she had been hurt by the “double standards” of the chief minister and his group. “And that is why I am speaking up against these double standards. On one hand, the Shinde faction keeps glorifying the legacy, principles and values cherished by my uncle. On the other hand they do not think twice before honouring people who grievously hurt the late Sena chief,” she said.During the rally, the Shinde faction felicitated Jaydev Thackeray, Uddhav’s estranged brother, and made him sit on the dais beside the chief minister. Also present on the same stage were Jaydev’s estranged wife, Smita Thackeray, and Nihar Thackeray, son of Uddhav’s late brother Bindumadhav.“In 2009, when Balasaheb Thackeray was alive, Smita Thackeray tried to join the Congress. She publicly praised the Congress ideology as the only ideology capable of taking the country forward. At that time, the Sena and Congress were at odds. This had badly hurt Balasaheb. At that time, I visited the Thackeray household and could see the pain in the eyes and his words. Balasaheb was really hurt by Smita Thackeray’s behaviour. And the same person was honoured by the Shinde faction, which claims to be following Balasaheb’s ideology. There is a vast difference between what they say and what they do,” Phatak said.As for Jaydev, Phatak said, “Jaydev had said certain objectionable things to the press when Balasaheb was alive. The allegations made by Jaydev had hurt Balasaheb so much that he used to break down…I had seen him crying.”Phatak said the Shinde faction should clarify whether it was following Balasaheb’s ideology or working against it. “Their behaviour shows they are trying to run down Balasaheb’s legacy,” she said.Phatak said Uddhav was honest and straightforward. “Just imagine. Those people whom he trusted immensely were conspiring against him when he was badly ill. I think Uddhav’s use of words like gaddar (traitor) is apt for the splinter group. Uddhav did everything for them. He trusted them and gave them much beyond their expectations. Yet they backstabbed an honest and straightforward person,” she said.Uddhav is not the kind of person who unnecessarily berates anyone, Phatak said. “My brother is always a cool-minded and easy-going individual. He does not unnecessarily raise the temperature. Neither does he berate anyone for the sake of it or create ruckus. He is a peace-loving person and believes in backing what is good and appropriate. He will never lower himself for power,” she said.As for Aaditya Thackeray, Phatak said, “At such a young age, Aaditya has done a wonderful job so far in the political field. He is well-versed in different aspects of public life and is highly knowledgeable. He has done everything right, which makes our family immensely feel proud of him,” she said.
While Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at his party’s Dussehra rally in Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister and rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde chose to attack Uddhav at his faction’s rally held on the occasion in a different part of the city.The two grand Mumbai rallies on Wednesday evening turned into a contest between Uddhav and Shinde to claim the legacy of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, with each one marked by a large gathering of saffron-clad Sena activists, where speakers aggressively took on the rival faction while making their respective claims of being the “true flag-bearers of Hindutva”.From a stage whose backdrop was framed by images of Bal Thackeray and Shinde’s political guru late Anand Dighe along with a slogan stating “Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain (Proudly say that we are Hindus)”, the CM, whose camp has staked claim on the Sena’s election symbol, bow and arrow, before the Election Commission of India (ECI) while projecting itself as the “real” Sena, addressed his Dussehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex’s MMRDA ground. A special empty chair was kept in the middle of the stage, symbolically honouring Bal Thackeray.For Uddhav, his party’s annual Dussehra rally was a congregation of “eknishtha (loyal)” workers. At the packed rally venue in Shivaji Park, he called the Shinde camp “parasites” that grew on trees’ branches. “Branches may fall, but the tree survives on roots and you (workers) are Sena’s roots,” he told the rally, adding that he will again help the Sena clinch the CM post if backed by party workers.Even as Uddhav referred to Shinde as a “contractual CM” and raked up his “betrayal”, the former’s larger target remained the BJP. In his 40-minute-long speech, Uddhav countered the BJP’s charge against him of “ditching Hindutva” to align with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) by referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent visit to a madrasa in Delhi. He questioned if this attempt to initiate a conversation with the other side is acceptable then what was wrong with his aligning with the Congress. He also raised the issue of remission granted to the Bilkis Bano case convicts who were also feted after their release from prison. “Is this the example of woman empowerment you are talking about?” he asked.By going after the BJP, Uddhav also sent out a political message that he could be a part of a larger anti-BJP front that may take shape ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.The BJP is going to be the main opponent of the Uddhav Sena in the upcoming Mumbai civic body polls. Uddhav’s bid to challenge Union Home minister Amit Shah and his attempt to make a distinction between the Hindutva propagated by both the parties is being seen as a clear sign that he is ready to lock horns with the BJP in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.Shinde, on the other hand, chose to reply in his 90-minute long speech to every criticism made against him by Uddhav. The CM also sought to rise to the defence of the BJP and RSS leadership, which might give the handle to the Uddhav Sena to sharpen its allegation that he was “dancing to the BJP’s tunes”.The CM also tried to connect emotionally with his supporters by explaining how he toiled hard for the party and is an ardent follower of Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva. By restraining himself from making personal attacks on the Thackeray family, he seemed to have hoped to earn sympathy of the common Sena workers.Earlier in the day, in an apparent swipe at Uddhav, who has maintained that he being the son of Bal Thackeray is the true inheritor of his legacy, Shinde posted a tweet with a quote of noted Hindi writer Harivanshrai Bachchan, stating “My son, being a son will not be my heir, whoever will be my heir will be my son”. Shinde’s appeal to common Sena workers and his repeated claims that the Sena was not a “private limited company” was aimed at legitimising his rebellion against the Thackerays as he projected himself as the “true heir” of Bal Thackeray’s ideology.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde Wednesday declared his faction of the Shiv Sena as the true inheritor of Bal Thackeray’s legacy and accused former chief minister Uddhav Thackery of betraying ideals of his father as well as the Hindutva ideology.“We are not gaddars (traitors). Everyone knows who the real traitors are. The betrayal took place in 2019 when you joined hands with Congress. You betrayed Bal Thackeray, Hindutva and your voters,” he said, addressing his faction’s Dussehra Rally at Bandra Kurla Complex, a show of strength countering the rival rally by the Uddhav faction at Shivaji Park.While Uddhav’s main thrust was on targeting the BJP, Shinde, in his 90-minute address, spoke largely about his rival.“You should introspect why we left, instead of calling us gaddars. Why did Raj Thackeray leave, and why did Narayan Rane leave? Were they all traitors?” Shinde said.“I will never digress from the thoughts of Bal Thackeray. True heirs of Bal Thackeray are those who have inherited his thoughts,” Shinde said, repeatedly invoking the Sena founder.I will never digress from the thoughts of Bal Thackeray. Today you called me Kattappa [the ‘Baahubali’ character who stabbed his king], but even he was self-respecting and not a two-faced politician like yoWith the Shinde faction failing to get the Sena’s traditional Shivaji Park venue for the rally, it used optics to reinforce its links to Bal Thackeray. The poster at the back of the stage read ‘Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain’, a statement Bal Thackeray made after the 1992 Mumbai riots. At the centre of the stage was a chair the Sena founder used during his visits to Thane in 2009-2010—Shinde paid tribute to the chair with a garland after he arrived on stage at 7.30 pm. At the beginning of the rally, snippets of Bal Thackeray’s speeches — criticising the Congress and the desire for the CM’s chair — were played as part of a musical video.Attacking Uddhav over his speech at Shivaji Park, which concluded a few minutes before his own speech began, Shinde said: “Today you called me Kattappa [the Baahubali character who stabbed his own king], but even he was self-respecting and not a two-faced politician like you.”Right at the beginning of his speech, Shinde kneeled on the stage and touched the ground with his forehead as tribute to the audience. He said: “I am one of you, I am like you. This will mark the end of dynasty politics in Shiv Sena.”Shinde added: “Shiv Sena is not your private limited company. It is the result of the sweat and blood of thousands of Shiv Sainiks, and you gave it away to Congress and NCP for personal gain. Bal Thackeray used to say he would rather retire than join hands with scoundrels [Congress], and you disrespected his thought.”He also targeted Uddhav over his party’s new tagline displayed at Shivaji Park — “Ekanishtha” meaning loyal. Shinde said: “What is loyal? Who are left? How many are left? Everyone will come here [to Shinde camp]. This is emotional blackmailing and it will not work.”Shinde’s speech also had praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Prime Minister has made our country proud, and spread the name of our country far and wide. Everyone across the world respects him. When any country faces calamities, India is the first to help that country in abundance.”
Addressing his much-anticipated Dussehra rally, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, without naming the Maharashtra Chief Minister, labelled the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction as traitors, accusing them of conspiring against him when he was at his “most vulnerable physical state after suffering a debilitating illness”.The former Chief Minister, while addressing his party cadre at the annual rally, launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), once again questioning its version of Hindutva, and stated that the idea of democracy was under threat under the dispensation at the Centre.“Breaking the alliance with the BJP does not mean that we have left the fold and ideology of Hindutva. I do not need to learn Hindutva from a party whose leaders have bowed their heads at the tomb of Jinnah and went uninvited to Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif,” Thackeray said during his 45-minute address to party workers at Shivaji Park, which was packed to capacity with Shiv Sainiks who had come to the state capital from across the state.Taking on the Central government, Thackeray said, “There is a genuine worry on whether democracy in this country can stay alive. This is a warning call for all citizens. There is a genuine fear that we, as a country, may get pushed into servitude. There is a need for all patriots to unite.”The Sena chief said the BJP was trying to cover up its shortcoming in ruling the country by evoking its version of Hindutva. “You (the BJP) speak about the cow, but why don’t you speak about the rising inflation in the country? Speak about it as well. But just to divert the attention of people, they speak about Hindutva,” Thackeray said.Thackeray also took a swipe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and said that he was busy conspiring in toppling the governments in states ruled by Opposition parties instead of concentrating on the work assigned to a country’s Home Minister.In the Ankita Bhandari murder case, the resort where it happened belonged to a BJP leader. In the Bilkis Bano case, sentences of the convicts were waived. These are the values of the BJP“Instead of fulfilling his duties as the Home Minister, his task these days is visiting states ruled by the Opposition and toppling the governments there,” Thackeray said.He further challenged Shah to “bring back the land which has been occupied by Pakistan and China” instead of making statements of “showing Shiv Sena its place”, alluding to a recent remark made by Shah to BJP members during his visit to Mumbai.“You came here and said you will show us the ground. We are on the ground only. But I challenge you to retrieve the ground that we have lost to Pakistan in the form of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as well as China. Do something about that first,” Thackeray said.He also took a swipe at the BJP over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that there was a need to empower women.“In the Ankita Bhandari murder case in Uttarakhand, the resort where it happened belonged to a BJP leader. In the Bilkis Bano case, men who raped her and killed her small child, men who were convicted, their sentences were waived off. These men were felicitated and welcomed. These are the values of the BJP,” Thackeray said.While the focus of Thackeray’s speech was targeting the BJP, he also took a swipe at the Sena’s breakaway faction, stating that they were traitors and would have to live with the “ignominy of being called traitors for the rest of their lives”.He said, “They are traitors only.. even if they have posts of ministers now, it won’t be the case for a long time.. but their identity of being traitors will be theirs forever and cannot be wiped out ever.” Thackeray further said, “They are duplicates and fake. They think that they have become Balasaheb themselves..”Without referring to Shinde by name, Thackeray said he was betrayed by people whom he had confided in. “I feel sad about only one thing. I had given responsibility for handling the affairs of the party(during the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi [MVA] government) to an individual. But when I was in hospital and in a vulnerable state, the same person was conspiring to break the party and finish me off forever,” he said.Thackeray made an emotional outreach to the Sainiks gathered at the rally, asking them to support the party while promising that the Shiv Sena will bounce back with double the force. “Today, I have nothing. We will have a difficult path ahead. But, with your support, the Shiv Sena will rise again. It will bounce back and I will make a Shiv Sainik the Chief Minister again. We have to defeat the traitors in every election,” Thackeray said.Thackeray also praised the Sena’s MVA coalition partners – the Congress and the NCP – stating they gave the party respect. “When we renamed Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv, the coalition immediately agreed. Still they (the BJP) say we left Hindutva? Where were they (Shinde faction) that time? Touring Guwahati and Surat?” the former CM said.The Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar came after a battle with its rival – the Shinde-led faction – over the venue which culminated in the Bombay High Court ruling in Thackeray’s favour in its verdict in the matter on September 23.
MUMBAI: Terming his faction as the real Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray as "the real betrayer," CM Eknath Shinde went all out in defence of PM Modi and union home minister Amit Shah at his Dussehra rally. Addressing his first rally at BKC, he said it was Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray's dream that Article 370 be abrogated and the Ram Mandir be built in Ayodhya. "This was fulfilled by Modi and Shah and yet you (Uddhav) mock them," he said. Pointing to the huge gathering, Shinde said now no one would question which was the real Shiv Sena. Shinde said he was proud to be the handyman of Modi and Shah rather than being the handyman of those who support Dawood and Yakub Memon, reports Clara Lewis. Attacking Uddhav, Shinde said in his lust for power, he has destroyed the Sena. "We are not betrayers. You betrayed the mandate of the people in 2019. You got votes with hoardings that had pictures of Balasaheb Thackeray on one side and Modi on the other. Balasaheb used to run the government with a remote control. You handed over Shiv Sena's remote control to NCP-Congress," he said. Bal Thackeray's son and Uddhav's elder brother Jaidev, his estranged wife Smita and son Nihar made it a point to be present at the CM's rally. Shiv Sena not a Pvt Ltd Co, it belongs to Sainiks: CM Addressing his first rally at BKC, CM Eknath Shinde accused Uddhav Thackeray of ceasing to call Balasaheb 'Hinduhriday Samrat' and referring to him only as 'Shiv Sena chief' to please Congress. "We are ideologically opposed to Congress-NCP, yet you embraced them. Even when they moved to slit Sena's throat, you did nothing," Shinde said. He said Thackeray preferred to listen "only to Sanjay like in the Mahabharata", hence the rebellion. "If Sena and Sainiks would not have destroyed Congress bastions, you would not have reached where you have. You make fun of our livelihoods, calling us 'paan tapriwala,' 'rickshawwala.' Can only zamindars, capitalists, those born with a golden spoon become CM?" he asked. Shinde said Thackeray went to court to get Shivaji Park to hold his rally. As CM he could've intervened, but he did not as "it is my responsibility to maintain law and order." He added Uddhav had taken help of Congress to bring people for his rally, just as his people had taken part in the latter's Bharat Jodo Yatra. He accused Thackeray of "burning Balasaheb's ideology." "Do you have moral authority to stand on that ground and speak? Thousands of Shiv Sainiks shed their blood to make the Sena, and you handed over the party's remote control to NCP. Balasaheb called them scoundrels, and you tied Sena to them," Shinde said. Hence, said Shinde, Sainiks rebelled. For 3 months, the CM said he has been moving around and has got a huge response from people. "Had we made a mistake, people would not have come out in such numbers. Shiv Sena is not a private limited company. Sena does not belong to Uddhav or Eknath. It is the Sena of Balasaheb's thoughts and belongs only to Shiv Sainiks," he said. Shinde said two words have been used to describe them - "gaddar" (betrayer) and "khoke" (boxes). "The betrayal happened in 2019. We are not "gaddars" (betrayers) but "Gadar" (revolutionaries)," he said. Reacting to Thackeray's statement that they were a group stealing another's father, he said Uddhav has tried to sell off the father's ideology. "You have become helpless for power. To please Congress-NCP you said we rotted for 25 years with BJP. Yakub Memon was responsible for Mumbai blasts, yet you made an MLA who sought to get his death penalty revoked a minister. How much salt will you rub into Mumbaikars' wounds?" asked Shinde. He further said, "Now that you have lost power you remember the ordinary Shiv Sainik. You did work from home. We never did 'work from home' but 'work without home.'" On Thackeray demanding they resign and go with BJP, he questioned why Thackeray did not resign when he went against the people's will. Hitting out at Uddhav for calling his son Shrikant, an MP, as "kaarta" and that his grandson was in line for a councillor ticket, Shinde said on becoming CM, he made his son (Aaditya) a minister instead of giving an MLA from rural Maharashtra a chance. "My grandson is only 18 months old. Thackeray's downfall began after his birth," he said. He accused Uddhav of cutting down Sena leader Anand Dighe and others in the party. "After Dighe's death, I thought you'd ask me how to expand party in Thane. Instead you asked me about his property and who were holding it. By cutting the feet of those who were rising, you forgot you were cutting down Sena," said Shinde.
"Balasaheb said he won't go with the Congress. You did that," Eknath Shinde said.Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde flipped Uddhav Thackeray's slur of "Gaddar (traitor)" today, declaring it was he who had betrayed the Sena by forming an alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. It was an insult not only to Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray who was against both parties, but also the ordinary Shiv Sainik who had worked for the party for years, he said."Balasaheb said he would close down the Shiv Sena but won't go with the Congress. You did that and this was against Balasaheb," he said."You don't want to even talk about Hindutva now... They keep opposing (VD) Savarkar and you did nothing... Savarkar is our God and we take his name with pride but due to Congress we were asked to be quiet," Mr Shinde said.Mr Thackeray, he alleged, "makes fun of the Prime Minister and calls Home Minister Amit Shah Afzal Khan". But they worked to fulfill Balasaheb Thackeray's dreams of scrapping Article 370 of the constitution and building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya."Modi and Amit Shah are fulfilling the dream and ideology of Balasaheb," he added."Did we take this decision in happiness? Even we were sad while taking this decision. But we were suffering for 2.5 years and that's why we had to do something. That's why in June we did what we did and 33 countries were continuously googling what we were doing," he said.Levelling tit-for-tat allegations of greed, he said, "This isn't a private limited company where you will do a partnership" for that. Addressing a rally this evening at Mumbai's Shivaji Park -- the traditional venue for Sena's Dussehra rally, Mr Thackeray had accused the Chief Minister of being a "traitor" to fulfil his "greed".PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comCalling his move to split the party a "gadar" (rebellion), he compared it to the mutiny of 1857 against the British. "In 1857, when our people fought against the British, that wasn't 'gaddari', that was 'kranti' (rebellion)... this is also a 'kranti'," he said.The Sena split in June after which the two factions have been toe-to-toe claiming the legacy of founder Balasaheb Thackeray. The battle for the bow and arrow election symbol has reached the Election Commission.
From the latest developments in the Congress presidential poll, to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction meeting the Election Commission to stake claim to the party’s symbol ahead of a crucial bypoll, here are political developments to watch out for:Kharge begins campaign tour: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will begin his multi-state tour in Ahmedabad today to gather support for his candidature in the Congress presidential poll, scheduled for October 17. The Indian Express reported that he will go to 10 state capitals in the next five days. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, his counterpart in the polls, has already visited Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as part of his campaign tour. Meanwhile, leaders associated with the Tharoor campaign have approached Madhusudan Mistry, the head of the party’s election authority, with complaints regarding state presidents endorsing Kharge’s candidature, alleged “intimidation” faced by Tharoor’s proposers, and discrepancies in the list of state Congress delegates who constitute the electoral college in the polls.Amit Shah, Nadda in Assam: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda will reach Guwahati this evening and attend a core meeting of the state’s party unit. They will inaugurate the new state office of the party on Saturday, which will be followed by an address at a rally with an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 booth workers. Nadda will leave on Saturday evening after attending a couple of meetings, while Shah will stay on till Sunday for other official engagements.Karnataka BJP meets, amid Bharat Jodo Yatra: After facing heat on corruption allegations through the PayCM campaign and with the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra gaining political traction in the state, the ruling BJP is expected to draw up plans to counter the Congress at meetings today.D K Shivakumar summoned by ED: The ED has rejected Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar’s plea seeking exemption – until October 21 in light of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in the state – from appearing before the agency in the National Herald money laundering case.Jairam Ramesh, the Congress’s general secretary in-charge communications, has termed the ED’s action “political vendetta Modi-style”.Shinde faction to meet Election Commission: Ahead of the Andheri East Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra on November 3, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction is set to meet the Election Commission today to argue its case for the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ poll symbol.In the bypoll, which will be the first major electoral battle between the two Senas since the developments in July, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s group has fielded Rutuja Latke, the wife of late MLA Ramesh Latke whose death necessitated the election. The BJP, the Shinde faction’s ally, has picked BMC corporator Murji Patel.(With inputs from PTI)
Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde held a massive Dussehra rallyPune: The "huge" crowd at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Dussehra rally in Mumbai showed who leads the real Shiv Sena, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday.He also dubbed the other rally held by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday as "Shimga", a pejorative term used to describe abusive rhetoric.He himself did not listen to the speeches of both Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde when they were underway, the BJP leader said.He was busy with the Dhammachara Pravartan Din celebration in Nagpur but got the gist of the two speeches and listened to Mr Shinde's speech on YouTube later, Mr Fadnavis said."I will not give any reaction on Uddhav Thackeray's speech. No need to give reaction on 'Shimga', he told reporters.The Shimga celebration in parts of Maharashtra ahead of the Holi festival involves lighting of bonfires, but revellers using cuss words or obscene language in a light-hearted way was also customary during the festival once."There was nothing in the speech except Shimga," Mr Fadnavis said."There was a huge gathering at the BKC ground whose capacity is the double of that of Shivaji Park (where Uddhav Thackeray spoke), and the BKC ground was filled to the brim... Shiv Sainiks proved that Eknath Shinde's Sena is the real Shiv Sena and that is why I would like to congratulate him," the BJP leader further said.On opposition's jibe that Mr Shinde, who rebelled against Mr Thackeray's leadership in June this year and broke away to form a new government, read out the BJP's 'script' at the rally, Mr Fadnavis said those who say this should find a new writer."How many times you will say the same thing? Ask your writer to use creativity or get a new writer," he said.Mr Fadnavis, a former Chief Minister, asked a question about Mr Thackeray's assertion that he was ready to swear on his parents that the BJP had promised the CM's post to the Shiv Sena for half the term before the 2019 elections.He had already given his reaction, Mr Fadnavis said.The reason for the split in the Shiv Sena was that Mr Thackeray put Shiv Sena's ideology aside and accepted the NCP and Congress's ideology and sat beside people who had connections with the Mumbai blasts and those who abuse freedom fighter VD Savarkar', he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I should congratulate Eknath Shinde as he talked about development. He talked about what we are doing and he talked about what we are planning to do. This was missing when Uddhav Thackeray was Chief Minister. He always spoke like a party chief," Mr Fadnavis said. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
The moment dust settles on the Dussehra showdown between the two Shiv Senas Wednesday, they will have another battle on their hands: the one for Mumbai’s Andheri East Assembly seat bypoll, on November 3.The bypoll, necessitated due to the death of sitting Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, will see the first major electoral contest between Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena and the BJP since the power equations between them changed. The Shinde Sena is unlikely to contest the bypoll, leaving the seat to its new partner.The result will be a considerable psychological boost for the winning side ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, due soon after. The bruised Uddhav camp desperately wants to retain its BMC stronghold, while the BJP with its new-found ally Eknath Shinde sees a chance to finally wrest India’s richest civic body.With its sizeable population of Marathi and North Indian voters, Andheri East has a good mix of electorate as an indicator of how Mumbai will vote. Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar has claimed that they will win the seat by over 50,000 votes.The Uddhav side, which continues to see an exodus of MLAs, MPs and leaders to the Shinde Sena, especially in areas outside Mumbai, has announced that it will field the late Latke’s wife Rutuja Latke for the bypoll. The BJP will field former corporator Murji Patel, who had contested from Andheri East in the 2019 Assembly polls as an Independent and come second.Both the NCP and Congress have announced support to the Uddhav Sena’s candidate. Uddhav, in fact, is counting on strong pockets of Congress voters scattered across the constituency to help it win. The bypoll will also be the first test of endurance of the MVA alliance after having lost power in Maharashtra.While it may not join the fight itself, the Shinde Sena will be battling on at least one front. Should the Uddhav faction contest on the Sena symbol of bow and arrow, it might strengthen its case before the Election Commission on claiming the same. The Supreme Court has left the matter to the EC and, sources said, the Shinde camp may approach the panel to stop the Uddhav group from using the symbol in the bypoll.
From the announcement of a new national party, to the RSS Dussehra rally in Nagpur, here are political events and developments that are likely to make a splash today:KCR to announce national party: At the TRS’s general body meeting today, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, is expected to launch a national political party.Sources said that at an “auspicious time”, the CM will announce the renaming of the party to ‘Bharata Rashtra Samiti’ (BRS). This could mark the beginning of the CM’s long-standing dream to float an anti-BJP national front for which he has been touring the country and gaining support this year.JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy and 20 MLAs of the party flew to Hyderabad Tuesday to attend the launch of the new national political party. As per a JD (S) insider, the BRS will be a conglomeration of various regional parties, “to put up a united fight against the BJP”.Meanwhile, Congress’s general secretary communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh in conversation with reporters in Hyderabad said “the BJP and the TRS were two sides of the same coin”. “If you have a Sultan in Delhi, you have a Nizam in Hyderabad,” he said yesterday.The Sena versus Sena showdown in Mumbai: Holding a Dussehra rally at the city’s Shivaji park has been of great significance to the Shiv Sena. All of its monumental decisions and milestones through the years – such as the launch of its youth wing under the leadership of then 20-year-old Aaditya Thackeray in 2010 – were taken here.With the split and the ensuing flight to assert who the “real” party is, it is looking like the final showdown will be the events that Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and CM Eknath Shinde have organised for today.The court may have asked the Uddhav faction to hold the rally at Shivaji park, but the Eknath Shinde side has pulled out all the stops for its rally at the MMRDA grounds in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) area in the city. Several thousand Thackeray supporters from rural Maharashtra have reached Mumbai in buses, trains, and private vehicles. The Shinde Camp claimed that around 400,000 Shiv Sainiks from across the state will be present at the rally and that it had organised around 4,000 buses to ferry them to the venue.All eyes and ears are on which event will attract more people and, more importantly, what will be said at the events.Bahubali actor Prabhas at Ramlila attended by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be the chief guest of the Dussehra ceremony at Red Fort today, organised by the Luv Kush Ramlila Committee, one of the oldest in Delhi. Accompanying him is actor Prabhas of Bahubali fame. In his latest film “Adipurush” – whose teaser was released this week – he is playing the role of Lord Ram. The film had its first run-in with controversy when MP Home minister Narottam Mishra on Tuesday warned the makers of legal action if “scenes that hurt religious sentiments” were not removed from the film.RSS rally at Nagpur: Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, was the day the right-wing organisation was founded by KB Hegdewar in 1926. Every year, the RSS holds an annual rally to commemorate the same at its headquarters in Nagpur. The “sarsangchalak” or the head delivers a speech that holds importance for its members and affiliates.In 2020, for example, the current chief of the organisation, Mohan Bhagwat, threw his weight behind the central government on the three contentious farm laws and virtually endorsed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s theory of an “international conspiracy” against his state government.Last year, he called upon state governments to return all temple property under their control to “Hindu society” and repeated the organisation’s demand for a population policy to tackle what it claims is a “demographic imbalance”.(With PTI inputs)
Mumbai: For first time since the Shiv Sena's inception 56 years ago, two Dussehra rallies will be held in Mumbai on Wednesday by the party's rival factions -- led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray -- in what is being billed as a show of strength by both camps after a change in government in June.The rallies have generated intense interest in political circles and also among common citizens and there will be more than just speeches by the two friends-turns-foes as the rival factions will seek to present themselves as the 'real' Shiv Sena and try to claim the legacy of party founder the late Bal Thackeray.While the Uddhav Thackeray faction will hold its rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, a venue associated with the Shiv Sena since its inception in 1966, the rebel group led by Shinde has organised their event at the MMRDA ground at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in the suburbs The sprawling MMRDA ground is located close to 'Matoshree', the private residence of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra.Both the camps have claimed they are taking forward the ideals of Bal Thackeray, who was known to make fiery speeches at the Dussehra rallies at Shivaji Park year after year till his death in 2012. Since then, his son Uddhav Thackeray, a former CM who lost power in June following rebellion by his once trusted aide Shinde, had been addressing the annual event.A Dussehra rally is being held at Shivaji Park after a gap of two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.Both sides have claimed their rallies will be a grand success with top leaders giving last minute touches to the preparations for the mega shows. On the ground, the areas in and around the two venues are awashed in saffron flags and banners.Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is expected to launch attacks on the Shinde faction and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), his former ally which is now part of the government in the state. In his address, the chief minister is likely to target Uddhav Thackeray for "deviating" from the path of Hindutva and joining hands with his once rivals Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in November 2019.Rebellion by Mr Shinde against Uddhav Thackeray's leadership brought down the MVA government in June-end.Meanwhile, stringent security measures are in place as there is a possibility of supporters of the two rival factions coming face to face in the metropolis, which may lead to law and order issues.Thousands of buses --- of the state road transport and also private operators -- have been booked by the rival Sena factions to ferry their supporters to the venues from all over the state.Sheetal Mhatre, a spokesperson for the Shinde camp, said 3.5 to 4 lakh people are expected to attend the rally at the MMRDA ground.Arrangements for food and vehicle parking for those coming from outside the city have been made.Both sides have claimed supporters of Mr Shinde and Mr Thackeray will come in large numbers from outside Mumbai for the high-profile events.The Mumbai traffic police have made necessary arrangements for the parking of scores of buses that will bring workers to the rallies.Buses carrying supporters from western and north Mumbai will be parked along Senapati Bapat Marg and Kamgar Maidan, while those arriving from Navi Mumbai and Thane will be parked at Five Gardens, Nathalal Parekh Marg, Edanwala Road, an official said.Cars will be parked at India Bulls Finance, IndiaBulls One Centre and Kohinoor Square.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comFor the BKC event, buses will be parked behind the family court in Bandra, near Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, the MMRDA ground and near Jio garden in the vicinity.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
KALYAN: Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde's son and Kalyan Lok Sabha MP Dr Shrikant Shinde has slammed Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for 'dragging' the name of his one-and-a-half year old son during the Dussehra rally held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Posting a photo along with his son, Shinde, in a letter to Thackeray, expressed a grief over remark and said that he was not writing a letter as an MP or son of chief minister, but as father of one-and-half year-old Rudransh. At Dussehra rally, Uddhav Thackeray had said, "Father is chief minister, son is MP and grandson is now eyeing on the post of corporator. Let him grow up." Replying to Thackeray, Shinde said, "During your appeal about rally, you had invited people to listen to your thoughts of Hindutva. Only you know what thoughts of Hindutva you put forward in Dusshera's rally. I just want to ask you whether it fits to your Hindutva to drag the name of and innocent one-and-half-year old child into your speech?" "Uddhavji, do you have any idea how shocked our family is by your remark? Actually, this is very personal, but I feel compelled to say it. Both son's mother and grandmother were extremely hurt after hearing what you said yesterday. Tears welled up in their eyes...How can a politician say such things about a child whose walking, babbling, gibberish, and laughter are the gift of God?," wrote Shinde "A father's request with folded hands and tears in his eyes. Politics will continue...Criticism will continue. But don't drag innocent child into it," he added.
Uddhav Thackeray took on Eknath Shinde and other rebels in his Dussehra speechMumbai: Lok Sabha member Shrikant Shinde on Thursday objected to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray "dragging" the name of his one-and-a-half year old son during his Dussehra rally speech a day ago, and asked whether targeting a child suited his Hindutva.Shrikant Shinde is the son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The rebel Sena MP represents the Kalyan Lok Sabha seat in Thane district.In an open letter, Mr Shinde said late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray seared his political opponents, but never resorted to such "lowly" remarks."Do you understand the views shared by you on Hindutva? I just want to ask you one thing whether such dragging a one-and-half-year old son suits your Hindutva?” Mr Shinde asked.On Wednesday, both the factions of the Shiv Sena - one led by Mr Thackeray and other by Eknath Shinde - held their rallies that saw attacks and counter attacks against each other.During his speech, Mr Thackeray attacked Eknath Shinde as he referred to his son (Shrikant) as "a brat" and said his grandson Rudransh "has an eye on the corporator's post". Mr Thackeray slammed the Chief Minister for "betraying" him despite enjoying various positions as he was made a minister and his son an MP.Berating Mr Thackeray, Shrikant Shinde in a long Facebook post asked how a former chief minister could use such a language against a child.Meanwhile, taking a dig at Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said while Uddhav Thackeray spoke extempore, Mr Shinde was "reading" his speech for one hour and 28 minutes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comNationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar also took a dig at Mr Shinde. "Some speeches were stretched beyond any reason," Mr Pawar said without naming the Chief Minister.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Ahead of his Dussehra rally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday tweeted a couplet by famous Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, which said that whosoever is his heir will be his son and not vice versa.Shinde’s tweet appears to be targeted at former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray. While Uddhav Thackeray heads one faction of the Shiv Sena, Shinde leads another camp. Both the leaders are scheduled to address the Dussehra rallies of their respective factions in Mumbai this evening." मेरे बेटे, बेटे होने से मेरे उत्तराधिकारी नहीं होंगे, जो मेरे उत्तराधिकारी होंगे, वो मेरे बेटे होंगे "- हरिवंशराय बच्चन.#विचारांचेवारसदार— Eknath Shinde – एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) October 5, 2022Bachchan’s couplet posted by Shinde said, “My son, being my son will not be my heir, whoever will be my heir will be my son.” The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed on June 29 this year after Shinde rebelled against the Sena leadership along with 39 party legislators. A day later, he took oath as the chief minister with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.Aaditya Thackeray, who represents Worli Assembly constituency in Mumbai, was a minister in the MVA government, while Shinde’s son Shrikant is a Lok Sabha member from Kalyan constituency in Thane district.Shinde, who heads the rebel group of the Shiv Sena which has the backing of 39 MLAs and 12 MPs, will address a mega rally at Bandra Kurla Complex, while Uddhav Thackeray will address a rally at the iconic Shivaji Park ground.Both the factions are locked in a bitter tussle to prove which of them is the “real” Shiv Sena
Eknath Shinde has claimed the legacy of Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena's bow and arrow poll symbol.Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has written to the Election Commission, asking it to urgently allot the Shiv Sena's bow and arrow symbol to his faction in view of the coming by-election in Andheri East. The BJP will contest the seat on behalf of the ruling alliance. But Mr Shinde has pointed out that the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Sena might use the symbol in absence of any decision by the poll body.In his petition, Mr Shinde said the symbol is necessary for the upcoming by-election and he has concern that the Thackeray faction "will illegally and unlawfully make an attempt to field a candidate and claim the allotted symbol of SSPP".Under the circumstances, he asked that the Commission "urgently hear, dispose and allow the petition... and allot the symbol of Shiv Sena party of 'Bow and Arrow' to the group led by Petitioner, at the earliest".Mr Shinde, who claims to be the real Sena, has claimed the legacy of party founder Bal Thackeray along with the bow and arrow symbol.The matter is now pending with the Election Commission, which said it would apply the transparent process of the "rule of majority".The Supreme Court has refused to stop the poll body from deciding who was the "real" Shiv Sena which was sought by the Thackeray faction.The party had split in June after Mr Shinde led a rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray, accusing him of betraying Bal Thackeray and diluting the Sena's ideology.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAt the big Dussehra meeting held yesterday, Mr Shinde said: "Do you have any moral right to even stand and speak there? You used Shiv Sainiks for your personal reason and went ahead with Congress and NCP... Balasaheb Thackeray used to run the government on remote control and you gave this remote control to NCP".Mr Thackeray, who held another rally at the traditional venue of Shivaji Park, alleged that Mr Shinde was a "traitor" who is attempting to control the party out of "greed".
Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Thursday criticised the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government, claiming that three to four farmers commit suicide in the state everyday ever since the dispensation came to power in June this year. He also alleged that despite repeated requests, the government has not declared a wet drought in the parts of the state that experienced heavy rains and witnessed large-scale damage to crops. Pawar, who is the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, was addressing a gathering in Baramati, his constituency in Pune district. Shinde took oath as the chief minister on June 30, a day after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed due to the rebellion within the Shiv Sena led by him. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supported the group of rebel Sena legislators headed by Shinde to form the government. The previous MVA government helmed by Uddhav Thackeray had Sena, NCP and Congress as partners. "When we were in the government, we took the decision of loan waiver. Due to it, Rs 50,000 will now come into the accounts of those who repay their farm loans on time. We had made several key decisions (in favour of farmers). But since this government came to power, everyday three to four farmers are committing suicide. They are taking the extreme step despite rains," he said. The reason for them to take this step is that they failed to get compensation for their damaged crops that they were supposed to receive, he said. "Some farmers lost their 'kharif' crops, some lost their rabi crops due to the heavy rains and flood situation. While this is happening, surveys are still undergoing," he added. In some cases, the compensation was given, but the amount was so meagre that the farmers were not ready to accept it, the NCP leader said. He alleged that those in power in the state do not have time to address the farmers' woes. "For everything, they (state government) look at the Centre. I had asked them to declare a wet drought in the regions where heavy rains battered crops. But they did not do so," he said. Talking about the onion cultivators in Maharashtra, he said when NCP chief Sharad Pawar was the Union agriculture minister, if anyone from the state called him whenever the prices of onions would fall down, he used to allow the export of the yield. "This was possible because someone close to everyone was there in the Centre. But there is no one for us there today," the former deputy chief minister said. He added that now when the prices of onion plummet, the farmers approach NCP MPs Supriya Sule, Amol Kolhe, Sunil Tatkare and Srinivas Patil, who try to provide help to them. Pawar also said the Centre's sugar export policy last year was good as permission to export white sugar and raw sugar was given. "But this time, there is a catch. A mill-wise quota is being decided to keep Uttar Pradesh's interest in mind. During the meeting, I told CM Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and minister Atul Save that the mill-wise quota should not be provided keeping the interest of Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole hit out at Eknath Shinde saying that the chief minister is the “BJP’s puppet” who read its script during the Dussehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) ground Wednesday. He stated the crowd at the venue was mercenary and the attendees left the venue without even listening to his speech.Patole urged Shinde to not talk about the Congress saying that the chief minister does not have the “address of his party” and that he should not try to hide his sins by blaming the Congress.“The people of the state saw yesterday that the chief minister of the state is a puppet of the BJP. Shinde read a script written by the BJP in support of his betrayal (of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government),” Patole said.“Shinde criticised the Congress in the meeting. His betrayal is an internal matter for him and Shiv Sena. But we will not tolerate Shinde, his ministers and MLAs repeatedly criticising the Congress to cover the sin of their rebellion. He should not worry about who is or should be the president of the Congress party. He does not know what his own party is, it is ridiculous for him to talk about the Congress,” Patole said.“The Congress is the oldest and the most experienced party in the country which played a major role in bringing the country independence and making the country stand tall in the world. Eknath Shinde’s performance is nothing. His achievement is to act on the BJP’s warning and implement Delhi’s (Centre’s) order,” Patole adeed.Patole said that under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena joined hands with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in 2019 to form the MVA government for the benefit of the people by keeping communalist forces out of power. “Eknath Shinde and his 40 MLAs were also in that government. If the Congress’s support was so unwanted, why did he not dare to come out at the same time? Doesn’t Eknath Shinde know the legacy of the late Balasaheb Thackeray? He supported Congress candidates Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee for the President’s post. Did Shinde dare to protest then?”Patole added that Shinde gave in to his own political ambitions as well as the BJP’s advice and that he should stop blaming the Congress.
In the impending winter of political discontent, saffron seems to be the colour of the season in Maharashtra. As Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his yet another loyalist-turned-rebel, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, are locked in a bitter battle over who represents the real Shiv Sena, it is amusing to note that both factions are grappling with the same question: Who moved my Hindutva?Ever since Eknath Shinde, supported by the BJP, pulled the rug from under Shiv Sena head Uddhav Thackeray’s feet, Maharashtra has been witnessing a fierce political battle that, at times, has bordered on absurdity. Vijayadashami rallies organised by both sides were spectacular examples of this farce.It started with a fight over the venue. Shivaji Park, an open space in the otherwise congested central Mumbai, has been a political barometer since pre-independence. A leader is considered worth his clout only if he earns full house at Shivaji Park. Actually, there is nothing that resembles a park. As its name suggests, Shivaji Park ground is the birthplace of the Shiv Sena. Even before that, soon after Independence, it was here that Prabodhankar Thackeray, Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s father, along with many other eminent Maharashtrians, launched the ‘Samyukta Maharashtra Movement’ that thwarted the Centre’s plan to give away Mumbai to the state of Gujarat. The Shiv Sena is an extension of the ‘Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti’, a body formed to guard the interests of Marathi Manoos.Hence Shivaji Park, laced with this history, is an emotive place for the Sena. Having been a Sena man himself, Eknath Shinde thought of hitting the Sena where it could hurt most. He tried to snatch Shivaji Park away from the Sena by first delaying, and later refusing it permission to hold its Vijayadashami rally. The Sena, however, outsmarted Shinde by applying for permission well in advance and later by challenging the state government’s refusal in the Bombay High Court. The first round went to Uddhav Thackeray.There are two aspects to the Shiv Sena’s strength. First is the Sena supremo’s ability to bring young and lumpen elements under one umbrella to give them some political purpose, and the second is keeping the “teach-them-a-lesson” spirit alive in them. Both these “qualities” were in full display at Shivaji Park.Uddhav is in no way close to his father in vocabulary, vituperation or viciousness. Despite his inability to pepper his speech with the choicest abuse for political opponents, though, the Shivaji Park rally was very lively as compared to Shinde’s maiden public meeting held in the business district of Bandra. In terms of the size of the crowd, Shinde certainly had a better head-count than the Thackerays. But in terms of spirit, Uddhav’s rally stands out. In oratorical skills, if Uddhav is a pale shadow of his father, Shinde is no better. His first attempt to take on the Thackerays can be described as lacklustre at best.Both the rallies underlined the same point — the political narrative revolves around one party: The BJP. It seems almost impossible for any political outfit to bypass or ignore the BJP. As a result, what happened at these two rallies was that even as Uddhav Thackeray was seen trying to take his battle to the BJP, Chief Minister Shinde, instead of marketing himself, was seen defending the BJP.To consolidate his vote bank of Hindus and neo Hindus, the BJP is busy portraying Uddhav as a “sinner”. His sin: Breaking bread with “secular” Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. In an attempt to turn the tables on the BJP, Uddhav brought in RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat by mentioning his recent visit to a mosque and overtures to Muslims. “Should I say the RSS chief (by visiting a mosque) has compromised his Hindutva?” he asked. The reply came from Shinde who chastised Uddhav for criticising the RSS. Uddhav was keen on sending out a message of how he continues to adore Hindutva even today, and Shinde was seen making special efforts to portray him as “secular”. Of course, the Maharashtra Chief Minister was using “secular” as an accusation.By organising the Vijayadashami rally and attempting to challenge the Sena on its own turf, the Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction may have succeeded in attracting eye-balls. But its first real test will be in the state legislative assembly by-election being held in Andheri (E), one of Mumbai’s suburbs, as early as November 3. The seat fell vacant following the death of a Shiv Sena MLA and before the Shinde faction could lure the departed MLA’s wife as its candidate, the Sena declared her nomination. Since the election symbol issue is yet to be decided, the Shinde faction has let the BJP contest the said by-election. It was impossible that the perennially election-ready BJP would miss the opportunity.But in the end, whatever be the outcome, it will be the Shinde faction that will lose out. If the BJP wins, it will add one more MLA to its kitty. If it loses, it will be the Shinde faction which will be at the receiving end. The November 3 by-election will be followed by the most coveted Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election, the real battleground which the BJP hopes to win and dislodge the Shiv Sena from. The November 3 by-poll outcome will set the tone for the BMC poll which in turn will prepare the ground for the battle royale of the state assembly elections, just two years away.Meanwhile, Maharashtra may end up becoming a land of Hindu heartthrobs (Hriday Samrats). Originally, the title was reserved for Bal Thackeray. Now, staking claim for it is his son Uddhav, and trying to wrest it from Uddhav is his cousin Raj. Add to them new entrant Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, not to mention the BJP’s home-grown Devendra Fadnavis. The list goes on.The writer is editor, Loksatta
A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally, political feud continues to brew on the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus Thursday that provided the parking facility for the event. Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, has circulated photos and videos of liquor bottles strewn around apart from heaps of garbage dumped after the event held on Wednesday.Photos and videos of the messy varsity campus grounds, which were used for parking vehicles ahead of Shinde’s Dussehra rally at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) BKC Ground, are being circulated widely.Even liquor bottles are seen lying around besides heaps of plastic bottles, thrown-away food, food packages, and other garbage, said Yuva Sena workers who have sought action against the organisers.Yuva Sena circulates pics of liquor bottles, garbage on Kalina campus after CM Shinde’s Dussehra rally pic.twitter.com/lvpjAuZXpB— Express Mumbai (@ie_mumbai) October 6, 2022 “Different grounds on the Kalina campus, including its helipad, were used for parking vehicles coming for the CM’s rally on Wednesday. This has caused a tremendous mess on campus. It is very unfortunate that some of the visitors consumed liquor on the premises of an educational institution. We want to know if the Deputy Chief Minister will be taking action against such irresponsible behaviour,” said Pradeep Sawant of the Yuva Sena who has been a member of the Mumbai University Senate.Last week Yuva Sena and a few other students’ organisations raised objections to the varsity’s decision to allow parking of vehicles coming for CM’s Dussehra rally on Kalina campus grounds.
MUMBAI: The late Bal Thackeray's son and Uddhav Thackeray's elder brother Jaidev Thackeray, his estranged wife Smita Thackeray and son Nihar, as well as the sister of late Shiv Sena leader from Thane Anand Dighe made it a point to be present at chief minister Eknath Shinde's Dussehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex, where the Shinde Sena held its Dussehra rally on Wednesday. Smita Thackeray, accompanied by her son Nihar, was the first to arrive at the venue. A while later, Uddhav's elder brother and Smita's estranged husband Jaidev Thackeray too arrived and was taken directly on stage and made to sit next to Shinde. Jaidev Thackeray, while seated, addressed the crowd saying, "He's my dear Eknath Shinde. The last couple of days, I have been receiving phone calls asking me if I am joining the Shinde group. I am not someone who can be tied to any group. I have like the 4-5 issues that have been taken up by Eknath, and hence I have come here. He is very hardworking, like the farmer. Do not desert him, do not leave him alone. Dismiss the government, hold elections and bring in the Shinde era." Thereafter, Anand Dighe's sister Aruna Gadkari too came on the dais and was felicitated. CM Shinde, in his speech, referred to his visit to Aruna Gadkari after Anand Dighe's death and said she had recounted how Dighe had always said that one day, the CM of Maharashtra would be from Thane. Much later, Smita along with her son went on stage. Nihar was made to sit on the dais next to Shinde. The chief minister referred to the presence of the Thackeray family at the rally in his speech. Bal Thackeray's aide, Thapa, who recently joined the Shinde camp, was also present. Shinde referred to derogatory comments made about Thapa by the Uddhav camp and condemned the comments.
Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde both addressed people in Mumbai today on Dussehra.Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday bitterly traded charges and used caustic terms like "traitors" and "betrayer" as Shiv Sena groups headed by them held Dussehra rallies in Mumbai in what was a parallel show of strength by the rivals after the change of government three months ago.While Uddhav Thackeray branded Eknath Shinde and his supporters as "traitors" for teaming up with the BJP to wrest power, the CM said Mr Thackeray had "betrayed" people of Maharashtra who voted for the Sena and the national party to form an alliance government, by teaming up with the Congress and the NCP after the 2019 Assembly elections.Mr Thackeray made a 43-minute-long speech at Shivaji Park ground in central Mumbai, where his party has been holding the Dussehra rallies since its inception in 1966, while Mr Shinde addressed the crowd for an hour and a half at a bigger ground at Bandra Kurla Complex in the suburbs.Mr Shinde asserted his rebellion was not an act of "betrayal", but a "revolt" and asked Uddhav Thackeray to kneel down at party founder Bal Thackeray's memorial in Mumbai and apologise for going against his ideals and aligning with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).Mr Shinde said voters in the state elected the Shiv Sena and the BJP in the 2019 Assembly elections, but Mr Thackeray "betrayed" people by joining hands with the Congress and the NCP to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.He said massive crowds at his Dussehra rally was proof enough to show who are true inheritors of Bal Thackeray's legacy.Slamming Mr Thackeray, Eknath Shinde, who heads the rebel faction of the party, said the Shiv Sena was not a "private limited company" and maintained the 56-year-old outfit was built through hard work of common Sena workers.The chief minister stoutly defended his rebellion against Mr Thackeray's leadership in June that brought down the MVA government.Mr Shinde asserted his rebellion was not an act of "betrayal" (gaddari), but a revolt (gadar).The Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena has often targeted rebels as "traitors"."We did not do 'gaddari' (betrayal), but this (rebellion) was 'gaddar' (revolt). We are not 'gaddar' (traitor), but soldiers of Balasaheb (Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray). You sold Balasaheb principles. Who are real traitors who betrayed Hindutva for the sake of power?" Mr Shinde said.The rally was attended by Jaidev Thackeray, brother of Uddhav Thackeray, and his estranged wife Smita Thackeray. Nihar Thackeray, grandson of late Bal Thackeray, also attended the rally besides Champa Singh Thapa, a long-time personal aide of the Sena founder.Mr Thackeray, who started his speech ahead of Mr Shinde, mounted a scathing attack on the chief minister and his supporters, saying their reputation as "traitors" will never be washed away."As time changes, Ravan's face also changes. Today, it is the traitors (who are Ravan). When I was unwell and underwent a surgery, I had given the responsibility to him (Shinde). But he conspired against me thinking I will never stand up on my feet again," the former chief minister said.The Shiv Sena does not belong to any one person, but it belongs to all loyal party workers, Mr Thackeray said, adding, "If you feel I should not remain the Sena president, I will quit." "There is a limit to lust for power...After the act of treachery, he now wants the party, its symbol and also wants to be called the party president," Thackeray said, targeting his one-time trusted aide who served under him in the MVA cabinet.He formed a post-poll alliance with the Congress and the NCP to teach the BJP, the Sena's former ally, a lesson for breaking its promises, Mr Thackeray maintained."I swear on my parents that it had been decided that the BJP and Shiv Sena will share the chief minister's post for two and a half years," Mr Thackeray said.The Sena had parted ways with the ally BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls following differences over the issue of sharing the post of chief minister.Mr Thackeray also said he did not need lessons on Hindutva from the BJP."BJP leaders visited (then-Pakistan prime minister) Nawaz Sharif on his birthday without invitation and bowed before Jinnah's grave," he said.He accused the BJP of raising the Hindutva issue to divert attention from poverty, unemployment and inflation."RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale has shown BJP the mirror," he said, referring to Hosabale's statement about the challenges of rising income inequality and unemployment.Facing a grave challenge of retaining control over the party founded by his father late Bal Thackeray, Uddhav sought support and strength from the Sena cadre, saying the party will bounce back."Today I have nothing. But with your support the Shiv Sena will rise again. I will make a Shiv Sena worker chief minister again. We have to defeat the traitors in every election," he said, in apparent reference to the November 3 Assembly byelection in Andheri (East) in Mumbai Mr Thackeray took a 'Bahubali' jibe at Shinde and compared him to the character 'Katappa' in the superhit film.Uddhav Thackeray said, "The only thing I feel bad and angry about is that when I was admitted to the hospital, the people whom I gave the responsibility (of the state) became 'Katappa' and betrayed us... They were cutting me and thinking that I will never return from hospital." Mr Shinde said, "They call me 'Katappa'. I want to tell you, that even 'Katappa' had self-respect, and did not have double standard like you." Hitting back at Uddhav Thackeray for calling him "Katappa", a character portrayed as a betrayer in the movie 'Bahubali', the chief minister said he was not someone who practised double standards.Questioning Uddhav Thackeray's style of working, Mr Shinde asked how many times he visited Mantralaya, the state secretariat in south Mumbai, when he was the chief minister (November 2019-June 2022).Administrative works came to a virtual standstill in the two-and-a-half years of the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray, he claimed.Mr Shinde said while Uddhav Thackeray was "working from home", he, on becoming chief minister on June 30, resorted to "work without home".Although the chief minister hailed from the Shiv Sena, it was the NCP which ran the show in the previous dispensation, CM Shinde said.Eknath Shinde assured that the Maratha community, which has been demanding reservation in government jobs and education for long will get justice.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe said in the next two years, there will be a 'development model' of Maharashtra.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Mumbai: The big Sena versus Sena battle on the occasion of Dussehra today started off with a stern warning from former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. "Ravan will burn," Mr Thackeray told the Eknath Shinde camp, pointing to the huge crowds at Mumbai's Shivai Park -- the traditional venue for the party's Dussehra celebration.Mr Shinde, who held a parallel rally at the MMRDA grounds, launched a sharp counter-attack. "Do you have any moral right to even stand and speak there? You used Shiv Sainiks for your personal reason and went ahead with Congress and NCP… Balasaheb Thackeray used to run the government on remote control and you gave this remote control to NCP," he said.The two factions of Sena, eye-ball to eyeball since the split in June -- are holding what has been billed as a show of strength. For the first time since the Shiv Sena's inception 56 years ago, two Dussehra rallies are being held in Mumbai by the rival factions."What will happen to Shiv Sena? Seeing the crowd here, the question now is -- what will happen to the traitors? All have gathered together. Like every year, this time too Ravana will burn. But this time Ravana is different," Mr Thackeray told the crowd at Shivaji Park.The BJP, Mr Thackeray insisted, had betrayed the Sena and this was why the alliance broke. "I swear by my parents that there was talk of half-term. Then (Union home minister) Amit Shah said nothing of the sort was decided," Mr Thackeray said.The BJP, he added, is now in the situation they tried to avoid -- making Eknath Shinde the Chief Minister. "Why didn't you do it earlier?" he said.The majority of Mr Thackeray's wrath was reserved for Mr Shinde, who, he said, had betrayed the party."How much should a man's greed be? He was given the Chief Minister's post. Now he wants the party too," he said, accusing the new Chief Minister of "stealing" his father.Mr Shinde, who is fighting to claim the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray – Uddhav Thackeray's father and the founder of Shiv Sena – had rubbed in the point quoting couplets from renowned poet Harivanshrai Bachchan."My son will not be my heir by being my son; whoever is my heir will be my son - Harivanshrai Bachchan," the Maharashtra Chief Minister tweeted, implying that legacy of a man need not necessarily be passed onto his son.At his parallel rally today, Mr Shinde insisted that the word is not "gaddar (traitor)" but "gadar (revolution)", implying that they are revolutionaries tying to take Sena back to its Hindutva roots.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde had started his speech with chants of "Garv se kaho hum Hindu hai (Say proudly that we are Hindus)", underscoring his complaint that Uddhav Thackeray had diluted the Sena ideology with tie-up with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.The fight over the Sena's bow and arrow symbol has reached the Election Commission. The poll body said it would apply the transparent process of the "rule of majority" after the Supreme Court refused to stop it from deciding who was the "real" Shiv Sena.
Dussehra rally of Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Mumbai (PTI)Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray, who is fighting for control of the Shiv Sena, which Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde claims is his, today made a strong address from a Mumbai venue where the Shiv Sena has for long held its Dussehra rally. Here are 5 points from Uddhav Thackeray's speech"All employment is going to Gujarat. But Pushpa says jhukega nahi...""What will happen to Shiv Sena? Seeing the crowd here, the question now is - what will happen to the traitors? All have gathered together. Like every year, this time too Ravana will burn. But this time Ravana is different.""With time, Ravana also changes...He used to be 10-headed till now. How many heads does he have now? He is 50 times more betraying.""As long as you are there, I am the party chief of Shiv Sena. You will decide this, that I will be the party chief. If you say so, I will leave. But not at the behest of these traitors.""I can speak on Hindutva. But there is also inflation. I appreciate the courage of the Sangh, who dared to speak on inflation in the country. The rupee is falling. Who will speak on this?"Post a comment
THE Opposition parties have reacted to RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement expressing concern over “rising income inequality” and unemployment in the country at a webinar on Sunday.The Congress called it an “effect of the Bharat Jodo Yatra”, saying Rahul Gandhi’s march has prompted “even Hosabaleji” to “see the unemployed”. Jairam Ramesh, the party’s general secretary in-charge communications, tweeted: “Look at the effect of #BharatJodoYatra. Those who break the country and spread poison in the society, today they are raising the issue of poverty, unemployment and inequality to increase their reach.”#BharatJodoYatra का असर देखिए। जो देश को तोड़ते हैं और समाज में ज़हर फैलाते हैं, वो आज अपनी पहुंच बढ़ाने के लिए ग़रीबी, बेरोज़गारी और असमानता का मुद्दा उठा रहे हैं। pic.twitter.com/xSTplWxwIP— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) October 3, 2022Replying to Ramesh’s tweet, Congress’s media and publicity chairman Pawan Khera said, “I have heard that the clouds of worry have started pouring over Nagpur (the RSS headquarters). Now even Hosabaleji has started seeing the unemployed. #Bharat Jodo Yatra”.सुना है चिंता के बादल नागपुर पर छाने लगे हैं ~ अब तो होस्बोले जी को भी बेरोज़गार नज़र आने लगे हैं… #भारत_जोड़ो_यात्रा https://t.co/AoV4V4vqQJ— Pawan Khera 🇮🇳 (@Pawankhera) October 3, 2022The Congress’s Data Analytics chairperson, Praveen Chakravarthy, took to Twitter to say: “Poverty, lack of jobs, wide inequality, India needs a new economic model” says Dattatreya Hosabale, RSS General Secretary… I agree entirely with the RSS on this. (a rarity).”Saying that there was “growing anger & despair against rising poverty, unemployment and rising income disparities”, Varsha Gaikwad, former Maharashtra Education Minister under the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, tweeted: “The Modi sarkar has only been trying to divert attention from these issues that concern the nation.”She added: “Now that the RSS has confirmed what @INCIndia has been saying, will PM Modi act?”In a series of tweets, JD(S) leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said the statement holds a mirror to the present condition in the country, and there were “big questions on the claims of Acche Din”.“BJP’s mother-root, RSS’s general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement that economic inequality, poverty and unemployment are very dangerous holds mirror to the present condition in India. Now, there are big questions on the claims of Achhe Din,” Kumaraswamy said.@BJP4India mother root @RSSorg General secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement that economic inequality, poverty & unemployment are very dangerous holds mirror to the present condition in India. Now there are big question over claims of Achche Din.1/6 pic.twitter.com/8A20aXE9U1— ಹೆಚ್.ಡಿ.ಕುಮಾರಸ್ವಾಮಿ | H.D.Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) October 3, 2022He added: “One doesn’t require special expertise to say who have flourished, Who have lost everything in the last 7 years of @BJP4India rule”.Saying malnutrition was rampant across the country, Kumaraswamy said further: “When this is the truth, why is there fear to introspect ‘Achhe Din’? Hosable has spoken the truth of what surveys also say… “Achhe Din” is the ruling BJP’s slogan which has been used by the J P Nadda-led party and its leaders since the time the party came to power in 2014… In the year of Amrit Mahostsav of country’s Independence, there is black dot of economic inequality in India.”Saying that he was “shocked by the statistics provided by Hosabale”, he said, “Is it not a national shame that there are people struggling for one meal a day?”Kumaraswamy also said the country “getting caught in the web of ‘corporate world’ is not a good sign”. “People’s frustration and impatience is increasing day by day. It is time the BJP woke up,” he tweeted.On Sunday, speaking at a webinar organised by RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch as part of its Swawalambi Bharat Abhiyan, Hosabale said, “The poverty in the country is standing like a demon in front of us. It is important that we slay this demon. That 20 crore people are still below the poverty line is a figure that should make us very sad. As many as 23 crore people have less than Rs 375 income per day. There are four crore unemployed people in the country. The labour force survey says we have an unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent.”(With inputs from PTI)
Amidst sharpened battlelines ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, all parties on Sunday, Gandhi Jayanti, raced to ensure they were seen on the same side of one person: Mahatma Gandhi.Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is in the Karnataka leg of his 3,400-km Bharat Jodo Yatra, clocked in a visit to the Khadi Cooperative in Badanavalu village near Mysuru, set up by Gandhi.In a Hindi tweet, he said, “Bapu taught us to walk on the path of truth and non-violence. He explained the meaning of love, compassion, harmony and humanity… Today on Gandhi Jayanti, we take a pledge that just as he united the country against injustice, we will unite our India.”Rahul has been emphasising that the aim of the yatra is to unite people, as opposed to the BJP’s agenda.Congress chief Sonia Gandhi paid tributes at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi. Accompanying her incidentally was senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is set to contest the Congress presidential polls.While the party has been denying so, Kharge is seen as the Gandhi family-backed candidate in the October 17 race, against Shashi Tharoor.Kharge also visited the Vijay Ghat to pay homage to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who shares his birth anniversary with Gandhi. “One trait that both Gandhiji & Shastriji had in common was absolute resolve, which continues to inspire us,” Kharge said in a tweet.Tharoor made his Gandhi stop at Sevagram in Wardha, Maharashtra, the ashram where Gandhi spent his final years.“A moving experience to spend the morning of #GandhiJayanti in Sevagram, Wardha. Was awed to see his simple dwelling, the very cot in which he slept, the implements he used, the humble facilities there. Wrote my thoughts in the visitors’ book,” he tweeted. Tharoor also shared videos of bhajans being sung at the ashram.Earlier, in words carefully chosen to pay a tribute to Gandhi but also to hint at the increasingly uphill battle he is himself facing, Tharoor tweeted: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”In her tweet, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra referred to the Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying: “Bapu is a Bharat Yatri sharing the sufferings of the people of the country and uniting the whole of India…Today we are walking on the path shown by Bapu with the slogan of ‘Bharat Jodo’ and with determination and the torch of unity in hand.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party and government accuse the Congress of honouring some national leaders to the exclusion of others, visited both the Raj Ghat and Vijay Ghat.Paying homage to Gandhi Jayanti, Modi talked about this year being “even more special because India is marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (the Modi government’s celebration of 75 years of Indian Independence)”. “May we always live up to Bapu’s ideals. I also urge you all to purchase Khadi and handicraft products as a tribute to Gandhi Ji,” he added.In a video shared by the AAP’s social media handle, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who spent the day in Gujarat, talked about Gandhi’s dreams for the country in the fields of education, healthcare, quality of life and brotherhood of people belonging to different religions, adding: “We have united people in Delhi and changed the country. We have made the Republic meet its strength.”Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who is an ally of the Congress and flagged off Rahul’s Yatra, said in a tweet: “On this day, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who worked hard to overcome adversities and to create a society with Equality and Fraternity, let’s take an oath to say there is no place for the forces of hatred to thrive on this Gandhian soil.”(with inputs from PTI)
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is now the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), reflecting the national ambitions of its founder and chief K Chandrashekar Rao.Rao, the Telangana Chief Minister, Wednesday held a meeting of the TRS State General Body at the party headquarters in Hyderabad. Among the attendees was Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who arrived with 20 of his party MLAs. Tamil Nadu-based Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi’s T. Thirumavalavan, a Dalit leader, also came with a group of party representatives.The members of TRS, which was launched in April 2001, unanimously approved a resolution to change its name and make it a national party. Now, a party delegation led by politburo member B Vinod Kumar will approach the Election Commission and submit an application seeking the name change and registration as a national party.Leaders said changes were also made to the party’s constitution during the meeting.Before the meeting, Rao hosted Kumaraswamy, Thirumavalavan and their party members for breakfast. Sources said BRS and JD(S) have decided to jointly contest elections in Karnataka.In his bid to form a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance, KCR has met in recent months a number pf of top Opposition faces including Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin, Shiv Sena president and ex-Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, JD(S) chief and ex-PM H D Deve Gowda, ex-Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav, and former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela.The TRS camp has also been closely watching Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, the election to the AICC president’s post, and the meetings of regional party leaders — such as the one that Nitish and Lalu recently had with Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking the formation of a united Opposition front for the 2024 general elections — to gauge the moves of regional leaders.Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy ridiculed KCR for removing the word Telangana from his party. “The word represents this region and its people. It is an identity and a sentiment. By removing the word, KCR has butchered it and disrespected it. He has also severed all connections of the party with Telangana,” he said.K Krishna Sagar Rao, chief spokesperson of the Telangana BJP unit, said KCR’s national entry while “struggling to keep his government operational” financially is a “misadventure”. “This is not the first time a regional party has nurtured national ambition. Many have tried and failed. I strongly believe the initiative is self-sabotage. The name change will lead to him losing his home turf, while he embarks on a wasteful national ambition,’’ he said.
The Mumbai police are keeping a close vigil at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and the Shivaji Park ground in Dadar, the venues where Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray will address the rallies of their respective Shiv Sena factions, officials said on Wednesday. While the Thackeray faction will hold its rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, a venue associated with the Shiv Sena since its inception in 1966, the rebel group led by Shinde has organised the event at the MMRDA ground at BKC in the suburbs. Both the leaders will address the rallies soon. At the BKC venue, around 2,000 police personnel, including Deputy Commissioners of Police and Additional Commissioners of Police, have been deployed. The traffic police have made parking arrangements inside the Kalina University campus, a senior official said. At the Shivaji Park venue, around 1,000 police personnel, including some in plain clothes, are keeping a vigil, he added. Besides them, dog squads, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) teams, and the personnel of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and Quick Response Team (QRT) have been deployed at both these places. At both the venues, hundreds of women police personnel as well as home guards are posted for security. "Several roads were either shut for traffic or the vehicles diverted in view of the rallies. Unclaimed vehicles were removed from the venues," the official said. Another top police official said that in view of these two rallies and the processions of Goddess Durga's idols at the end of the Navaratri festival, a total of 15,200 police personnel, 3,200 officers,1,500 personnel of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), 1,000 jawans of Home Guard, 20 QRT teams, 15 BDDS units have been deployed in the city. The Mumbai traffic police have made necessary arrangements for the parking of scores of buses and other vehicles that have brought workers to the Shiv Sena rallies.
The two MPs could be from Mumbai and Marathwada region, Krupal Tumane said. (File)Mumbai: Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member Krupal Tumane on Wednesday claimed two MPs and five MLAs from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction will join the group headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at the latter's Dussehra rally in the evening.The two MPs could be from Mumbai and Marathwada region, Mr Tumane, who is part of the Shinde group, told a news channel."You will see in the evening," he added.Those who believe in the Shinde faction's ideology are themselves calling up and joining it, said Mr Tumane, the MP from Ramtek in Maharashtra.At present, the Shinde faction comprises 40 MLAs, including the CM, and 12 Lok Sabha members.The Thackeray faction is left with 15 MLAs and six Lok Sabha members.Before the split in June this year, the Shiv Sena had 18 Lok Sabha members from Maharashtra and one from Dadra and Nagar Haveli.The group led by Eknath Shinde will hold its Dussehra rally on Wednesday evening at the MMRDA ground at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.The Uddhav Thackeray faction will hold its rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, a venue associated with the Shiv Sena since its inception in 1966.Eknath Shinde and 39 other Sena legislators had rebelled against the party leadership in June, following which the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn June 30, Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister along with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Candidate of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena gets support from Congress in Andheri East bypollMumbai: The Congress in Maharashtra on Wednesday announced support for the candidate of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena in the November 3 byelection to Andheri East Assembly constituency in Mumbai.The election was necessitated due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke.State Congress chief Nana Patole told reporters that his party would support Rutuja Latke, wife of Ramesh Latke, has been fielded by the Shiv Sena.Ramesh Latke, a two-time MLA, had defeated Congress's Suresh Shetty in 2014 from the constituency to enter the Legislative Assembly.He died on May 11 this year while on a trip to Dubai.The BJP plans to nominate Murji Patel, as per party sources.The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress was formed after the 2019 Assembly elections results to keep the "communal" BJP out of power in the interest of Maharashtra, Patole said.The MVA coalition government took many decisions for the people's welfare, Patole said.The BJP misused central agencies like the ED and CBI to topple the government, but its efforts to break the MVA would not succeed, he added."In the battle against the BJP, the Congress will not field its candidate in the Andheri East byelection. We will work with full strength to ensure that Shiv Sena's candidate wins," Mr Patole said.This would be the first election in the state after the split in the Shiv Sena in June.Meanwhile, city Congress leader and former MP Milind Deora said the Shiv Sena should support a Congress candidate next time as a reciprocal gesture.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"As long as coalition dharma is being followed sincerely, there is no harm in having an alliance," he tweeted.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
State Congress chief Nana Patole Wednesday said his party will throw its weight behind the Shiv Sena candidate in the upcoming Andheri East bypolls slated to be held on November 3. The seat was with Congress till 2014. Earlier this year, the seat fell vacant after the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke.The Shiv Sena has announced a ticket for Latke’s wife Rutuja.Patole said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance was formed after the results of the assembly election to keep the “communal BJP” out of power for the benefit of Maharashtra. “When BJP’s efforts to break the MVA were not successful, they broke Shiv Sena party. In the battle against BJP, the Congress party firmly stands with Shiv Sena and will not field any candidate. Instead, leaders and workers of the Congress will work full strength to ensure that the Shiv Sena candidate wins,” Patole said.Listing out the MVA government’s works, Patole said, “Our government (MVA) had taken many welfare decisions like farmer loan waivers and had done good work during the Covid-19 crisis. On the other hand, BJP misused the central agencies like ED and CBI to topple the MVA government by taking away Sena MLAs.”Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap said, “We are still in MVA and are together. If one of my leaders (Patole) says I have to support, then the Mumbai unit will support (Shiv Sena).”
Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member Krupal Tumane on Wednesday claimed two MPs and five MLAs from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction will join the group headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at the latter's Dussehra rally in the evening. The two MPs could be from Mumbai and Marathwada region, Tumane, who is part of the Shinde group, told a news channel. "You will see in the evening," he added. Those who believe in the Shinde faction's ideology are themselves calling up and joining it, said Tumane, the MP from Ramtek in Maharashtra. At present, the Shinde faction comprises 40 MLAs, including the CM, and 12 Lok Sabha members. The Thackeray faction is left with 15 MLAs and six Lok Sabha members. Before the split in June this year, the Shiv Sena had 18 Lok Sabha members from Maharashtra and one from Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The rebel group led by Shinde will hold its Dussehra rally on Wednesday evening at the MMRDA ground at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The Thackeray faction will hold its rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, a venue associated with the Shiv Sena since its inception in 1966. Shinde and 39 other Sena legislators had rebelled against the party leadership in June, following which the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed. On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the CM along with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
Members of Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction Wednesday used the yet-to-be-opened Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway, alleged opposition party leaders.Congress MLA from Jalana Kailash Gorantyal said that around 100 vehicles of rebel Sena leader Arjun Khotkar’s supporters used the expressway.“I have received the information from our people. The Shinde group’s fleet comprising 100 vehicles used the expressway and it passed through his house,” Gorantyal told the media. He asked how come the expressway, which is still not open to the common people, is being used by the Shinde faction supporters.“A video, shot through a drone, has emerged of Khotkar and his supporters travelling in hundreds of cars on Samruddhi Expressway. Cars with saffron flags were seen in the visuals,” said a source.Thousands of supporters of the two factions of the Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray factions of Shiv Sena have been coming to Mumbai from across the state for their respective Dussehra rallies.Meanwhile, a few vehicles, allegedly belonging to Shinde faction supporters, met with an accident on the Samruddhi Expressway between Aurangabad-Daulatabad in Marathwada. No casualties or injuries were reported.The Samruddhi Expressway, which will cover the 701-km distance between Mumbai and Nagpur, is touted to be the fastest expressway in the country. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is executing the construction work at an estimated cost of Rs 55,000 crore.
Shiv Sena Mumbai Dussehra Rallies: Amid the ongoing festivities, all eyes are glued to Mumbai as the city is set to witness two Dussehra rallies for the first time since the Shiv Sena’s inception 56 years ago. The rallies are being billed as a show of strength by both Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray camps. Predicting huge turnouts at the rallies, the Mumbai Police have tightened security at the Shivaji Park and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). While the Shinde camp is holding its rally at the MMRDA ground in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the group headed by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is organising its Dussehra event at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai. Reports claimed that more than 5,000 buses, a number of small tourist vehicles and cars, and a special train have been roped in to ferry supporters of the two rival Shiv Sena factions for their respective Dussehra rallies.Also Read - Mumbai Traffic Advisory: Special Arrangements Made Due To Dussehra Rallies At Shivaji Park, MMRDA Ground | Check Routes To AvoidMaharashtra | Buses carrying supporters of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) arrive at the MMRDA ground in Mumbai for the #Dussehra rally pic.twitter.com/JzSqsmxNsY— ANI (@ANI) October 5, 2022The following parking arrangements have been made for the vehicles of citizens attending the Dussehra Mela organized on 5th October at MMRDA Ground, BKC, Bandra (E).#MTPUpdates #MumbaiTrafficUpdates pic.twitter.com/H8ioifSneH— Mumbai Traffic Police (@MTPHereToHelp) October 4, 2022There shall be no parking on following roads:-In view of Dussehra Mela to be held at Shivaji Park, Dadar on October 5, 2022, to avoid traffic congestion on the nearby roads, following temporary provisions have been made to the traffic management from 9 AM to 12 PM. pic.twitter.com/7g67ICRIIO— Mumbai Traffic Police (@MTPHereToHelp) October 4, 2022Siddhivinayak Junction S.K.Bole Road-Agar Bazar- Portuguese Church and Gokhale Rood.No Entry from Raja Badhe chowk Junction up to Keluskar Marg (North) Junction DadarLJ Road- Gokhale Road- Steel Man Junction then proceed through Gokhale Road.
Mumbai: The political scene in Mumbai, in a first, will see two Dussehra Rallies taking place in the financial capital. Party’s rival factions -led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray – in what is being billed as a show of strength by both camps after a change in government in June. This will first such move since the inception of Shiv Sena 56 years ago. Owing to thes big rallies,Mumbai Traffic Police has issued advisory stating routes that will closed during the course of event.Also Read - 5 Places In India Where Dussehra Is Celebrated Without RavanWhile the Uddhav Thackeray faction will hold its rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, while group led by Shinde has organised their event at the MMRDA ground at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in the suburbs. Also Read - Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav to Virender Sehwag; How Cricketers Wished Fans on Auspicious DayThe following parking arrangements have been made for the vehicles of citizens attending the Dussehra Mela organized on 5th October at MMRDA Ground, BKC, Bandra (E).#MTPUpdates #MumbaiTrafficUpdates pic.twitter.com/H8ioifSneH— Mumbai Traffic Police (@MTPHereToHelp) October 4, 2022 Also Read - Sena vs Sena in Mumbai: 5,000 Buses, Special Trains For Dussehra Rallies at Shivaji Park; Traffic Restrictions Imposed | 10 PointsIn view of Dussehra Mela to be held at Shivaji Park, Dadar on October 5, 2022, to avoid traffic congestion on the nearby roads, following temporary provisions have been made to the traffic management from 9 AM to 12 PM. pic.twitter.com/7g67ICRIIO— Mumbai Traffic Police (@MTPHereToHelp) October 4, 2022The rallies have generated intense interest in political circles and also among common citizens and there will be more than just speeches by the two friends-turns-foes as the rival factions will seek to present themselves as the ‘real’ Shiv Sena and try to claim the legacy of party founder the late Bal Thackeray.
PUNE/MUMBAI: A total of 1,800 ST buses from across Maharashtra have been booked for ferrying supporters of Uddhav Thackeray and chief minister Eknath Shinde to Mumbai for the parallel Dussehra rallies to be held on Wednesday. A road transport official said buses were booked by various individuals and paid for in cash. However, the Congress alleged that up to Rs 10 crore has been spent by the CM-led Shiv Sena faction on transport and food expenses for the BKC rally. The party demanded a probe by central agencies into the expenditure. Congress claims Rs 10 crore spent for buses to rally, MSRTC denies centralised paymentMaharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has diverted buses plying in rural areas, apart from those engaged in school transport services, to carry supporters of the rival Sena factions to their rallies in the city on Wednesday. However, MSRTC general manager (traffic) Shivaji Jagtap denied any impact on regular operations. "Our usual operations have not been affected. In many areas, Navami and Dashmi (Dasara) are collector-declared holidays. We see a 45% dip in passenger traffic on both days each year. Many buses will be used only after their day's schedule is complete," Jagtap told TOI on Tuesday. While 450 ST buses were booked from Aurangabad and Beed districts in Marathwada, another 686 buses were from the north Maharashtra region. At Sillod in Aurangabad, state agriculture minister Abdul Sattar was seen personally monitoring the departure of ST buses decked with the CM's posters. MSRTC's Aurangabad divisional controller Sachin Kshirsagar said, "Buses plying in the rural areas and those engaged in school transportation were mostly diverted for these bookings as they see negligible occupancy on Dussehra day." The Pune and Kolhapur divisions did not report bookings. At Nashik, a MSRTC officer said, "We received bookings of 686 buses from our central office." Some 100 private buses from Nashik have also been booked. A MSRTC official said no favours were done to the Shinde faction. "Buses have been booked in the name of individuals across the state. They were booked on casual contract. As per convention, fare has been collected in cash. It is not that one person has booked 1,600 buses and paid a fare of Rs 10 crore," he said. However, the Congress has demanded a probe by the Enforcement Directorate and income tax department on expenditure incurred by the Shinde faction for the rally at BKC. MPCC spokesperson Atul Londhe said Rs 10 crore has been spent to engage buses. "If Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut can be jailed on charges of laundering Rs 50 lakh, then what about the Rs 10 crore spent by the Shinde faction?" he asked. He said Sena leaders are transporting thousands to BKC. "Central agencies must probe the source of the cash. This amounts to money laundering and offences should be registered under Prevention of Money Laundering Act," Londhe said. "In addition, from the statement of a rebel Shiv Sena leader, two lakh food packets will be given to people attending the rally," he alleged.
The game is on. As Dussehra dawns on Wednesday, Mumbai is bracing for a mega showdown between two Senas via the stormtroopers they have rallied.And so far, the script is running as per plan, with both the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena and its Eknath Shinde-led counterpart promising mobilisation of lakhs of people from across the state. It may just be a battle of optics but both sides realise the milestone the Dussehra celebrations mean in establishing who is the true inheritor of the political legacy of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray – as well as the rightful claimant of the ‘Bow and Arrow’ party symbol, an issue pending with the Election Commission.While the Shinde faction is claiming an assembly of around four lakh at its venue, the BKC Complex, the Uddhav Sena has promised that the Shivaji Park ground – the party’s traditional Dussehra rally venue — will overflow with its supporters.Since the inception of the Sena in 1966, when Dussehra was established as a major event in the party calendar, it is the first time that the party will see two rallies both claiming it to be real Shiv Sena and having legacy of Bal Thackeray and using the poll symbol bow and arrow and sena logo of roaring tiger face.*The speeches by both Uddhav and Shinde are likely to start around 8 pm, after a ‘shastra puja (prayer to the weapons)’ and addresses by other leaders. Sources said MLA and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray may give his first Dussehra Day address at the Uddhav Sena event.MLC Anil Parab, who is an Uddhav loyalist, stressed that the outpouring of support for their rally was natural. “It is our cultural gathering and not a staged event,” he said.Shinde is expected to unveil a new flag of the party and release a song to counter one being promoted by the Uddhav Sena and produced by Marathi singer Avdhut Gupte. The flag, sources said, will have images of Bal Thackeray and late Sena leader and Shinde’s mentor Anand Dighe.Another attraction at the Shinde rally will be the 50-ft long sword displayed at the BKC ground, for the shastra pujan.Apart from the 50 ft long sword, in Shinde faction’s rally, there would be a musical and cultural event depicting culture of maharashtra including historical events from the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to attract the gathering.Apart from attacking the rival faction, the main focus of the speeches on both sides is set to be the coming BMC elections, which will be the next big battleground between the two Senas.Uddhav and Shinde both are likely to stress on Hindutva and being true followers of Bal Thackeray’s ideologies during their speeches.A senior leader from Uddhav sena said, Uddhav is likely to hit out at BJP too who the party suspects has engineered the split in the party and trying to finish the party.Through videos and teasers, the Shinde faction has been targeting the Uddhav Sena in the lead-up to Dussehra. One such teaser released by it on Tuesday said: “This (the Shinde faction’s rally) is a rally to take forward the Hindutva’s chariot, a rally for teaching lessons to those who have forgotten the ideology. This is not a rally belonging to any family but this is the rally of Sena founder Balasaheb’s thoughts.”Late on Tuesday night, Aaditya visited the Shivaji Park grounds to take stock of the rally preparations, after making a round of the memorial of Bal Thackeray.
The Maharashtra cabinet has cleared a proposal to allow police personnel to take home loans at subsidised interest rates. The scheme was earlier launched in 2017 and was implemented till 2019, after which it was discontinued by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The new Eknath Shinde government has decided to reintroduce the scheme for which the State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation will operate as the nodal agency, a government statement said on Tuesday. The cabinet also cleared a revised proposal of Rs 9,279.06 crore to speed up phase-1 of the Nagpur Metro project. The state has sanctioned Rs 622 crore interest free loan for the Nagpur Metro phase-1 project and also approved the land transfer proposal, the statement said. The cabinet has also cleared the pending project of transportation of the Krishna river water to Marathwada by sanctioning Rs 11,726.91 crore. It will benefit 33,945 hectares of land for irrigation in eight districts, the statement said. Under the Krishna Bhima rivers stabilisation project, the construction of a connecting tunnel for both the rivers has also been included, it said. The cabinet has also decided to notify state or Union government-owned companies as implementing agencies on a turnkey basis for projects under the state disaster management plan.
MUMBAI: The two Dussehra rallies in the city, five kilometres apart, are expected to produce a blistering duel between Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray and chief minister Eknath Shinde, dwelling on the themes of Hindutva, betrayal, dynastic succession and governance. While Uddhav is likely to take on Shinde and BJP for its role in bringing down his government, the CM is expected to make a hard pitch for his right to claim Bal Thackeray's legacy and at the same time, remind his audience about key decisions taken by him in the last three months. Both may speak for over an hour each, starting their speeches around 8.45pm and going on till the close at 10pm. By convention, Sena rallies start around 7pm with other seniors on the dais saying their bit for an hour and half. Around 8.15pm, the key speakers are expected to arrive. Thackeray and Shinde will be the last to address and will hold forth till 10pm. There was speculation that Aaditya will also talk at Shivaji Park, but Sena leaders denied such a move. The Shinde faction on Tuesday released their latest promotional video for the rally. "...to take forward Hindutva's chariot, to teach a lesson to those who have forgotten our ideology, not of one family but a Dussehra rally of Balasaheb's ideology," reads the script emblazoned on the visuals with Shinde in the background. The CM may devote time to decisions taken by his government to compensate for "shortcomings" under the previous regime. Apart from emphasising on the effort to speed up key projects such as the underground metro in Mumbai, the bullet train and a beautification plan for the metropolis, he is expected to speak on relief measures for the agriculture sector. A Shinde faction leader said the CM is also likely to make some revelations on events in June and July leading up to the collapse of the MVA government following his revolt along with 40 Sena MLAs. Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, on Tuesday suggested that Thackeray will come out all guns blazing at the rally. "Bogus and fake people will be exposed...Uddhav Thackeray's cannon will fire hard. It will fire at bogus Hindutva," said a party statement in the Saamna. The Thackeray faction may also release a new theme song targeting "the traitors" and harping on loyalty to Balasaheb's Shiv Sena. Sena leader Anil Parab described the rally as "a cultural gathering". "We have been hosting this since 1966. We used to come here to listen to the thoughts of Balasaheb and now we listen to Uddhavji. It will be a grand rally," Parab said. As at a group heads meeting earlier this month at Goregaon's Nesco grounds, a chair is likely to be symbolically kept vacant for Sena MP Sanjay Raut who is in jail in an alleged money laundering case. Leaders from both factions are trying to ensure a full house. Officials said while around 60,000 people can fill up Shivaji Park, the MMRDA grounds are bigger. To welcome guests, the CM's camp has organised food packets for every attendee with ladoo and savouries.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced the date for the bye-elections to the Andheri (East) Assembly constituency in Mumbai, the first election in the city after the split in the Shiv Sena.The EC on Monday released the schedule for bypolls to seven Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. The elections will be held on November 3 and the last date for filing nominations is October 14, the EC said.In Maharashtra, the election will take place in Andheri East, the constituency of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, who died in May this year in Dubai after a heart attack. While the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has fielded Latke’s wife Rutuja in the election, the BJP is fielding former Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporator Murji Patel.The Andheri bypoll will take place before the BMC elections and will be a litmus test for the Shiv Sena, which has faced a vertical split after a rebellion spearheaded by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs.he Shiv Sena has been insisting that the elections should be fought unopposed as Latke’s wife herself is contesting.