FPJ Mumbai Debate: 'Balasaheb's Definition Of Hindutva Has Always Been Nationalism,' Says Shiv Sena UBT Leader Anil Desai

FPJ Mumbai Debate: 'Balasaheb's Definition Of Hindutva Has Always Been Nationalism,' Says Shiv Sena UBT Leader Anil Desai

He also countered the allegation about the change in his party's ideology and claimed that it is still running on Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology of Hindutva.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 09:02 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has placed its bet on Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Desai from the Mumbai South Central constituency. A loyalist of the Thackeray family for the last few decades, Desai is also a member of the Rajya Sabha and is considered to be excellent at managing elections, legal matters, and back room activities. Against Desai, the Mahayuti alliance has fielded sitting MP and Shiv Sena leader Rahul Shewale.

Desai Attacks The Government

Desai attacked the government, alleging irregularities in the redevelopment project for Dharavi. He said that the residents of Dharavi are doubtful about the redevelopment project as “redevelopment projected by the government is different from the plan that is being put up on paper”.

Desai also said that the government is shifting people far away from Dharavi and they are deprived of their right to reside where they belong. He alleged that the government is focusing on the Dharavi redevelopment only because of its proximity to the Bandra Kurla Complex.

Demanding that the redevelopment of Dharavi should also include an upgrade of infrastructure with added public utilities of schools and hospitals, he said, “Everyone has eyes on the redevelopment of Dharavi, and even we support it. People have been living here for generations in pathetic conditions and have still earned good names and laurels for Mumbai. Their talents should be recognised and they should get a separate working place near their residence. However, details are not in the open. The layout plans should be shared with the residents.”

Desai Talks About Diversity Of Communities In His Constituency

Talking about the diversity of communities in his constituency, he called it a mini Mumbai. He also countered the allegation about the change in his party's ideology and claimed that it is still running on Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology of Hindutva. Countering the claim of Shiv Sena struggling to attract votes from the Muslim communities, Desai said that the 1993 riots had changed the city and the riots stopped due to Balasaheb's efforts.

“Different parties have taken up Hindutva in a different manner to play a political game, but their Hindutva is not what we have been fighting for. Balasaheb was Hindu Hridaysamrat and, according to him, the definition of Hindutva has always been nationalism,” he said.

Desai On Lokadhikar Samiti

The Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate also spoke about the Lokadhikar Samiti that was constituted by Balasaheb Thackeray to combat the issue of unemployment in the state.

“The state still needs a Lokadhikar Samiti as people are struggling with unemployment. The expectations of the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra are changing and they know what they want. With the rise of misinformation and the bias in mainstream media, the youth is preferring social media over mainstream media,” Desai said.

Desai also shared the stage with his peer Varsha Gaikwad of the Congress party, who is contesting the election from the Mumbai North-Central constituency. Revealing that they were supposed to contest from each other's constituencies earlier, Desai said that he would be voting for the Congress for the first time and that it would be for Gaikwad.

“Although we are contesting from the opposite constituencies, we have been working to campaign for each other. My workers in the north-central region campaign with Varsha Tai and her workers are supporting me in my election rallies,” he said.

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