Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena to Organise ‘Loyalty’ Dahi Handi Event Outside Party HQs in Mumbai

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The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Wednesday announced to organise a “nishta” (loyalty) dahi handi event, on the occasion of Janmashtami, outside the party headquarters in Mumbai’s Dadar on August 19 (Friday). This announcement came after BJP decided to hold dahi handi mahotsav at Worli’s Jamboree Maidan on the same day.

The Sena’s handi event will be organised by the Yuva Sena which is headed by Aaditya Thackeray, who is an MLA from Worli.

Taking to Twitter, the Shiv Sena said, “Loyalty Dahi handi! The celebration of loyalty, the joy of Dahihandi!”

For several years, then NCP leader Sachin Ahir, who later joined the Shiv Sena used to hold the dahi handi event in Jamboree Maidan but stopped doing so after a Supreme Court order in 2015. Later, Sena MLA Sunil Shinde started organising the event. However, now BJP chief Ashish Shelar booked the venue first this year, which forced the Uddhav-led Sena to shift to another venue for Dahi handi.

Times of India quoted Shelar as saying that the saffron party was going to hold dahi handi event in over 300 locations in the Mumbai city. “We don’t believe in any strongholds. Aaditya Thackeray has himself won because of BJP votes as an alliance candidate. BJP is organising over 300 dahi hands all over Mumbai and we have given insurance cover to over 200 mandals. Jamboree maidan is just a teaser, the whole film is yet to play,” he was quoted as saying.

On its part, the Shiv Sena has cited renovation of the Jamboree Maidan as a reason for shifting to a new venue for this year’s dahi handi event.

In June, the Shiv Sena faced its worst-ever crisis after 40 of the 55 MLAs revolted against the party leadership and aligned with rebel leader Eknath Shinde, who is now the CM. Of the 18 Lok Sabha MPs from Maharashtra, the Shinde-led faction of rebel legislators has the support of 12. Elections to the cash-rich BMC, which had been under Sena control for more than two decades, are due later this year.

Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is locked in a political tussle with the rebel Shinde camp which claims to be the “original” Shiv Sena of Bal Thackeray. The Shinde faction has also staked a claim to the poll symbol of Shiv Sena- a “bow and arrow”- and the matter is pending before the Election Commission.

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