Will Shiv Sena be able to replicate AAP’s success in the city.
Aam Aadmi Party’s thumping victory in Delhi has changed the course of Indian politics. AAP’s resurgence will pave way for citizen’s participation in active politics. The party has managed to bridge the gap between political leaders and voters. Till now most of the political parties remained inaccessible to voters but AAP’s victory is likely to change that. Mumbaikars have already started talking about the AAP model of governance for the city. They have begun debating whether Shiv Sena will be able to replicate AAP’s success in the city. Of late, there has been a rift between Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra. Sena has been attacking BJP through its mouthpiece Saamna. However, BJP has asked Sena to resolve issues through debate instead of using media to express its views. AV spoke to Mumbaikars to know whether Shiv Sena could sweep polls in Maharashtra like AAP in Delhi. Here is what they had to say.
Dheeraj Patil an engineering student said, “I think people have already given their mandate in the assembly elections. Sena had gone solo in the polls. The party’s performance in BMC is not up to the mark. They have been ruling the Municipal Corporation for a long period of time but have failed to deliver.”
“Youth has distanced themselves from Shiv Sena on account of aggressive stand taken by them towards every issue. I will support a party whom I can approach without any fear. Youth today disapprove of vandalism, tod-fod or Dadagiri which Shiv Sena is famous for”, said Shweta Redij an animator from Mumbai.
Ashutosh Jadhav working for Shiv Sena IT wing said, “Sena should have clear road map for development. The party needs to change its way of functioning. They need to convince people about their work, future plans and policies.”
Shalaka Karande an engineering student from Pune said, “Shiv Sena had filed complaint against two girls for posting comments against Bal Thackeray. How can we expect such an intolerant party to run the government smoothly?”
Further adding she said, “The difference between AAP and Shiv Sena is, that the former took criticism very strongly without getting intolerant, which I doubt the latter can ever follow.”
Shiv Sena is not a better option for Maharashtra at all, a BMM student from Mumbai speaking on the condition of anonymity said.
Further adding, “It is a conservative party. Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray is portrayed as a youth icon of the party. He talks about improving the city’ nightlife which directly contradicts the party’s conservative image. If I am being offered a choice between choosing Shiv Sena and AAP I would rather chose the latter due to its clean image.”
When asked if Shiv Sena can win Marathi people’s hearts once again, Abhijeet Pharande from Pune said, “Without the leadership of Balasaheb Thackeray, Sena is now a Toothless Tiger.”
When asked whether Sena needs changes in their functionaries he said, “Instead of changing the ground level party cadre’s the party needs to change its leadership which is responsible for the huge disconnect between the party chief and people.”
When we asked him whether MNS should merge with Shiv Sena he replied, “Raj Thackeray as Shiv Sena Chief and Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister of State can pose a challenge to the opposition parties. They should work for the welfare of Marathis.”
We asked whether Shiv Sena is losing its foothold in Mumbai and Maharashtra, Pravin Kirnahake, a Sales Executive from a corporate house said, “Shiv Sena’s politics revolve around Marathi people and it has worked for their welfare. However, the party fares poorly when it comes to governance. I don’t think, they possess ideas to attract the youth. Shiv Sena has been in power with BMC from last 20 years and every year Mumbai gets flooded during monsoon.”
“As youth we don’t want Congress to come to power for atleast 10 years. Instead of distributing freebies Shiv Sena should create more employment opportunities for youth. Every party makes promises but fails to fulfil them” he added.
Samarth Devale, a Graphic and VFX student from Mumbai said, “Shiv Sena was formed in Mumbai and has spread across other regions of the country. Remember when Balasaheb used to say “Mumbai Bandh” and the entire city used to shut down. It was Shiv Sena which rescued the lives of Hindus during the 1992-1993 Mumbai riots.”
“Today people oppose politics based on caste or religion. Citizens want better roads, jobs, water, housing and when party fails to fullfill these promises they speak about Marathi Asmita for gaining political mileage” he added
“The difference between today’s Shiv Sena and the one run by Balasaheb is that the party remained connected with every individual, businessmen and celebrities. Arvind Kejriwal had won people’s hearts by connecting with them at the grassroots level. Why can Thackeray emulate Kejriwal?” said Samarth.