According to sources, the party isn't too happy that Narendra Modi failed to even acknowledge its ally in his address at BKC last month; has asked all its leaders to ensure maximum footfall at Goregaon rally, where Sena workers will take a public pledge of support
Irked over its ‘coalition brother’ BJP’s massive show at the December 22 rally for its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena is gearing up for a bigger, better rally this month.
All the district units of the Sena have been asked to register their presence at Shiv Sena’s rally scheduled for January 23, which is the birth anniversary of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
Likely to be held at the NSE grounds in Goregaon, the party is planning to pull out all stops and outdo the BJP’s Maha Garjana rally held at the BKC grounds last month, where Modi didn’t even mention the words ‘Thackeray’ or ‘Sena’; something that was perceived as a slight, revealed a senior party leader, requesting anonymity.
At the rally, party workers and supporters will be asked to take a public pledge, in which they promise to devote themselves to garnering support for the party in the approaching elections. This is a crucial year for Shiv Sena, as it will witness the first general election that the party contests in the absence of its founder Bal Thackeray.
The party workers will be asked to take a pledge to ‘realise the dream of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray to ensure maximum wins in the Lok Sabha and the state assembly elections’ and to ‘work tirelessly to unfurl the saffron flag atop Mantralaya through sincere effort,’ revealed a source.
The decision to do it better than the BJP did was taken at a meeting held on Saturday at Sena Bhavan, where the party’s zilla pramukhs, vibhag sampark pramukhs, MLAs, MPs and prominent leaders were present. Party leaders were told to avoid any local functions organised to pay homage to the late party chief, so that large numbers of them could make it for the rally in Mumbai.
The tone of the meeting was somewhat bitter towards alliance partner BJP. The BJP, which is called the Sena’s ‘younger brother’ in Maharashtra, has been less modest than the Sena would have liked, now that it is going from strength to strength under Modi’s leadership, said the Sena leader.
Sources say that the former leader of opposition and MLC Ramdas Kadam lashed out against the BJP, alleging that its leaders played a double game. “The BJP works wholeheartedly to ensure maximum wins for the Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha, as it helps their own PM candidate in Delhi. But during the state assembly polls, the same BJP works to defeat Sena candidates to ensure more MLAs, so that it can claim the CM’s chair,” Kadam alleged.
In his address, the party chief Uddhav Thackeray ignored the barbs from Kadam and spoke in favour of the alliance. “We must work in cohesion with the alliance partner to register maximum wins for the Lok Sabha,” he told the party workers.