Mumbai/Thane: Coinciding with Diwali, the two warring Shiv Sena camps – led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, respectively – engaged in massive fireworks on Saturday evening over a ‘shakha’ of the party in Mumbra in Thane, which neighbours the financial capital of Mumbai.
Tension has been brewing up in Mumbra for the past few days over the demolition of the ‘shakha’ or local party office, which has been there for the past 25 to 30 years.
It was demolished on 3 November – after the members of the Shiv Sena headed by Shinde, the Chief Minister, took it over. Later, a shipping container was placed there by the Shiv Sena – to the displeasure of the Thackeray-headed Shiv Sena (UBT).
In view of this, Thackeray on Friday decided to visit and see for himself the current state of the ‘shakha’.
Mumbra comes in Thane city, which is the bastion of Shinde.
On the other hand, the Mumbra-Kalwa seat is represented by NCP’s Dr Jitendra Awhad, who is winning for three terms.
When posters of Shiv Sena (UBT) meant to welcome Thackeray were torn in the Thane-Mumbra area, Dr Ahwad pointed it out. “ I had informed the Senior Police Inspector of Mumbra that banners put up for welcoming Thackeray will be torn … he said I will keep a watch now we see all banners are pulled down,” he posted on X.
Amid the tension, Thane Police Commissioner Jai Jeet Singh reviewed the situation.
Even as the Shiv Sena (UBT) delegation was headed to Mumbra, the local Shinde-led Shiv Sena leaders including Naresh Mhaske objected to it and protested and also showed black flags.
On Saturday, Thackeray, who was accompanied by Shiv Sena Mumbai South MP Arvind Sawant and Thane MP Rajan Vicar, Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Raut and Anil Desai and Dr Awhad among others reached the spot.
En route, Thackeray was accorded a grand welcome along Thane and Mumbra.
However, because of barricades, they could not enter the makeshift office.
“The way you have torn the posters, we will tear you in the next elections,” Thackeray said in his brief address as he returned to Matoshree, his residence in Bandra in Mumbai.
Mhaske claimed Thackeray was visiting Mumbra on the advice of Dr Awhad and added that posters welcoming him did not have images of Shiv Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray and late Anand Dighe.
(Published 11 November 2023, 17:48 IST)