‘Mumbai ma jalebi ne fafda, Uddhav Thackeray aapda’ is the tagline that Shiv Sena will deploy in its outreach to the Gujarati community ahead of the 2022 BMC polls.
In a bid to woo the community, which forms a significant chunk of Mumbai voters, the Sena will mingle with Gujaratis at a planned meeting on January 10 in Jogeshwari (West). Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 100 people have been invited.
BMC polls and elections to the other municipal corporations are likely to be held early next year. The Gujarati community is a core voter base of the BJP in Mumbai. Over the last few years, despite an alliance with the BJP, the Shiv Sena has been making independent attempts to reach out to non-Marathi communities to retain power in the BMC. The Sena has ruled the BMC for more than two decades now.
“Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has successfully tackled the Covid-19 pandemic by taking care of all communities. Since BJP is not able to digest it, it is making claims of defeating Sena in the BMC polls. For Shiv Sena, BMC polls is a very prestigious election,” said Hemraj Shah, national organiser of Sena and a prominent Gujarati face of the party.
The Mumbai civic polls assumes a lot of significance for the Sena, as it comes after it joined the hands with NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state. Opposition BJP has been attacking Thackeray and the government on various issues, including shifting of the Metro car shed project from Aarey to Kanjurmag.
Shah said that the Sunday gathering was part of preparing for BMC polls. “The gathering is to make Gujarati people aware and urge them to vote for Sena.”
The BJP has criticised the move alleging that the Sena has been taking different stands to woo voters from various communities. “Not just the Gujarati community, but even Mumbaikars will not fall for such moves. They will teach a lesson to Sena in the polls due to its corruption and inefficiency,” said Atul Bhatkhalkar, BJP legislator and party in charge for Mumbai.
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