February 3, 2021 8:57:20 pm
The Shiv Sena has begun division-wise meetings of corporators and party office bearers to assess the ground situation and expand the party base ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls slated for next year.
Sena sources said of the party’s 12 divisions in Mumbai, meetings of five divisions – Borivali, Kandivali, Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Goregoan – have been held so far since last month. Senior Sena leader Subhash Desai, Sena MP and party secretary Vinayak Raut, MLA Ravindra Waikar and Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai addressed the meetings and took stock of the situation with the office bearers, said a party leader.
“The assessment includes counting total voters in each corporator ward, calculating the electorate in terms of their castes and communities, assessing the corporators and their performances, examining the areas where the party needs to work to expand its base,” said a party legislator, adding that the plan to reach out to the non-Marathi communities is also being chalked out. In a bid to woo the Gujarati community, the party will continue to hold regular events.
The legislator added that the meetings aim to uplift the morale of the grassroots-level workers. “The grassroots workers will go and meet people on the ground. We are energising them through these meetings,” the legislator added.
Vilas Potnis, party legislator and divisional head of Borivali, said: “We are guiding the workers on various works undertaken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the BMC. We are also asking people to express their grievances.”
Rajendra Raut, divisional head of Ghatkopar, said: “We are also stressing in the meetings to tell people how well Uddhav Ji has handled the Covid-19 situation and conducted various development works. Since we are ruling the state, we can get the things done by the BMC and the state government.”
Another leader said the party is focusing on all wards to win maximum number of seats. “Though there is uncertainty over the alliance with the NCP and the Congress for the BMC polls, we are focusing on all wards,” said the leader.
Sources said the meetings of the remaining eight divisions will also be held soon. The review of each division will be taken once in two months, said a leader.
The Sena will hold the second gathering of the Gujarati community in Malad (West) on Sunday. Twenty-one Gujarati industrialists are expected to attend the event.
The party has now come up with the theme of “Raas-Garba”, a typical Gujarati folk dance. Last month, the Sena came up with the tagline, “Mumbai ma jalebi ne fafda, Uddhav Thackeray aapda”, (Jalebi and fafda in Mumbai, Uddhav Thackery is ours) to reach out to the community.
The party’s national organiser Hemraj Shah said: “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has successfully tackled the pandemic in Maharashtra by taking care of all communities. Since the BJP is not able to digest it, it is making claims of defeating the Sena in the BMC polls. For the Sena, the BMC polls is a very prestigious election.”
The Mumbai civic polls assumes a lot of significance for the Sena as it comes after the Sena joined hands with the NCP and the Congress to form the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. Opposition BJP has been attacking the state government on various issues, including the Metro car shed’s shifting from Aarey to Kanjurmag.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines