In a serious bid to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Mumbai Mission 2022 to win the Mayoral post and form its rule, Shiv Sena has decided to take on the central government and the saffron party by reaching out to Mumbaikars. As a start, the party leaders and rank and file on Thursday hit the roads to protest against the BJP government at the Centre and the spiralling prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation Mayor Kishori Pednekar, party legislators and officer bearers participated in the protest across the city. Timing is important as the BJP national president JP Nadda is expected to pay a three-day visit to Mumbai to discuss the party's strategy for the BMC elections.
Two days before Bharat Bandh, Shiv Sainiks had staged an agitation against the three farm laws. A Shiv Sena minister told the Free Press Journal, “Party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked Shiv Sainiks to step up efforts to reach out to Mumbaikars in the run up to the BMC election slated for 2022. The party will organise similar agitations against BJP and the Centre’s policies.” He said that the Shiv Sainiks will also take up the party-led government’s slew of development policies and BMC’s ongoing projects to upgrade Mumbai’s infrastructure.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray have been quite often meeting party leaders and rank and file. Thackeray has told the party members that Shiv Sena will fight the coming BMC elections together with NCP and Congress in a bid to foil BJP’s attempt to form its rule.
Shiv Sena, with its new poll partners, plans to continue to consolidate the Marathi Manoos vote bank and also appear cosmopolitan instead of confrontationist.
On its part, BJP proposes to expose its erstwhile ally for softening Hindutva.