Mumbai: A day after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s public rally on Saturday, leader of the opposition and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is holding a rally in Goregaon and is expected to hit back at Thackeray and Shiv Sena.
The rally, which is seen as one more in the run-up to the local body polls, may witness sharp criticism of the corruption in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ruled by Sena for more than two decades, and action taken against the people who stood up against the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
The rally which has been organised by the north Indian cell of the party is aiming to galvanise the north Indian voters, especially in the western suburbs of the city. The party has stated that the rally is to celebrate their victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly polls and to facilitate Fadnavis for his active role in the victory in the Goa Assembly polls.
“Fadnavis addressed ‘booster dose rally’ on May 1 at Somaiya ground in Mumbai to charge up the party cadre and booth level workers ahead of the local body polls. This is his second political rally in the gap of just two weeks and immediately after Thackeray’s rally. He would not miss the opportunity to give it back to Thackeray and Shiv Sena especially when Sena is likely to target us mainly. Fadnavis is expected to attack Sena, our main enemy now in the BMC elections, over corruption in the civic body and also on the Hindutva agenda,” said a BJP leader.
The leader said that the rally is important as it has been organised to keep the momentum going among the north Indian voters in Mumbai after the recent victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He said that north Indians account for 20% of the population in Mumbai and they en masse vote for the BJP.
BJP had won 82 of the 227 seats in the 2017 BMC elections, and most of them were from the western suburbs and from the north Indian dominant wards.
Mumbai chief of the party Mangal Prabhat Lodha said, the Sunday rally is not in response to the rally by the CM and it was a pre-scheduled one. “Neither this nor the one we had on May 1 was to counter-rallies by any other party. This is the rally organised by our north Indian cell and was finalised a month ago, much before the chief minister’s public meeting was announced. We do not prepare for the elections after they are announced. Our preparations are going on for months and the rally on Sunday is part of it,” he said.