MUMBAI: Shiv Sena, one of the major partners in power with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), protested against the inflation and ever rising fuel prices.
After a long time, the Shiv Sena came out on the streets to protest against their own government. Though they are an alliance partner, the Sena is not happy with the working of the government. For last three years, the Shiv Sena has been opposing the government on every issue and behaving like an opposition party. However, the opposition was mainly through the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana or via speeches and social media. Now, for the first time, the Shiv Sena has protested against the government on the streets like an opposition party, which is Sena’s original style of functioning.
According to Sena leaders, such type of protests against the government over various issues will continue in the form of agitations across the State.
This may be Shiv Sena’s tactics to put pressure on BJP and the government over various issues.
The party is also making a ground for the next assembly polls through such protests, as the anti-incumbency mood against the government is increasing.
The Sena workers held a protest at 12 places in Mumbai. Party MPs, legislators and corporators took part in the protests at several places, including Bandra, Borivali, Chembur and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
In Bandra, Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray reiterated that demonetisation has completely failed and multiplied the miseries of the common people. “The government has failed in every decision and the Shiv Sena is the only party to object them at every level. We have protested against Mumbai University’s mess and will continue our agitation against the government over farmers’ and common man’s issues,” said Aditya.
Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai said party MPs and MLAs have time and again brought to the notice of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis the perils of inflation and the sky-rocketing prices of petrol and diesel.
At Lower Parel, Sena leader Dr Neelam Gorhe, MP Arvind Sawant, MLA Ajay Choudharu, local corporator Ashish Chemburkar, Arvind Bhosale and Kishori Pednekar participated in the protest.
“The prices of petrol and diesel have risen tremendously and this affects everyone. The rising prices of LPG cylinders have affected housewives. We are not bothered about what other parties do, but Shiv Sena is against it and will protest at every platform,” said Dr Gorhe.
Thousands of activists, including women and youths, chanted slogans of ‘Narendra Sarkar, Hai Hai, Devendra Sarkar Hai Hai,’ ‘BJP Come to Your Senses, Or Get Out,’ ‘Jai Ram, Shri Ram, BJP Ram Ram’, at various locations catching the attention of the weekend commuters and tourists.
At Worli, the Shiv Sena activists chanted the slogan -- ‘Evhadi Manse Kashala, Modinchya Maiyatala (Why these huge people are here, for Modi’s funeral!). This slogan triggered clashes between Shiv Sena and BJP leaders. BJP’s Mumbai city unit Chief Ashish Shelar and MP Kirit Somaiyya condemned the Shiv Sena activists over shouting of such slogans.
Shelar said those who were elected to power on the strength of Modi are today raising slogans against him.
The Nationalist Congress Party was one of the first ones to protest against rising fuel prices. Last week, the Mumbai unit of NCP held a demonstration outside the State BJP headquarters at Nariman Point. Mumbai Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam had also held a press conference condemning the high taxation on petrol.