The stage is set. The two Shiv Senas are ready for what will be one-of-a-kind parallel Dussehra rallies. In a prelude of sorts, social media has emerged as the latest front to generate hype online.
While the battle for the bow and arrow symbol is at the Election Commission’s door, there is another tussle evidently highlighted in the teasers — Bal Thackeray and the successor of his political ideology.
Drone shots of the iconic Shivaji Park — a traditional Sena venue for rallies, which is a stone’s throw away from the party headquarters, — full of Shiv Sainiks are at the heart of the teasers.
“This is my Thackeray family. End this,” said Uddhav as the crowd cheered in the video. “Each one of them has Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray in their hearts.”
एक नेता, एक झेंडा, एक मैदान…
एकनिष्ठ शिवसैनिकांचा.. पारंपरिक ऐतिहासिक दसरा मेळावा!
स्थळ : छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज पार्क (शिवतीर्थ), दादर
५ ऑक्टोबर २०२२, सायं. ६.३० वा. pic.twitter.com/xqM6444BbG
— ShivSena – शिवसेना (@ShivSena) October 3, 2022
On the topic of his speech in the Dussehra rally, both Uddhav and his camp made it clear that Eknath Shinde’s rebellion will be on top of the list.
Notably, not only the split, but the fight over venues also went to court as the Shinde camp sought permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park.
Eventually, the Bombay High Court allowed Uddhav Thackeray’s faction to conduct the rally at Shivaji Park.
“Garv se kaho, hum Hindu hai (say with pride that we are Hindu), Ami vicharan che varasdaar (we are the heirs of the ideology).” These are some of the messages used by the Shinde camp to counter the Uddhav Sena’s claims.
Featuring Balasaheb’s message on keeping the saffron flag waving high in the video, the Shinde camp has maintained that it is they who are the real heirs of Thackeray and Anand Dighe’s ideology of Hindutva.
— Eknath Shinde – एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) September 29, 2022
“Ideas are important and we are taking forward the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray. We are taking his role forward. That’s why we are getting support from the people. The response I get from people wherever I go shows that they accepted us and therefore they will come in huge numbers,” said Chief Minister Shinde.
Besides, leaders from the Shinde camp have also been putting out old clips of both Balasaheb and Uddhav wherein the two criticised the Congress, which eventually became its ally in the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The MVA lasted for 2.5 years before the Shinde rebellion in June this year, which saw the Thane leader forming an alliance with the BJP, with Devendra Fadnavis as Deputy CM.
The Dussehra rally holds significance as the party organised its first rally in 1966 at the Shivaji Park. Since then, the rally, first by Balasaheb and then by Uddhav at the same venue, has become a yearly affair for the Shiv Sainiks. The much-awaited Dussehra event is expected to draw crowds in large numbers.
With inputs from News18