The Shiv Sena on Sunday claimed the credit for the restriction-free celebration of the ongoing Ganesh festival goes to party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Thackeray fought the COVID-19 pandemic for two years with strict restrictions (when he had served as the CM of Maharashtra) and created awareness among people about the safety protocols, an article in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“The credit for the restriction-free festival celebration goes to Uddhav Thackeray. This hasn’t happened because of the Shinde-Fadnavis regime,” said the ‘Rokhthok’ column, published under the byline of Kadaknath Mumbaikar in the Marathi daily. The Thackeray-led government, which comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, collapsed in June this year after a revolt in the Sena led by MLA Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators.
On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the CM along with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
The article in Saamana said there was a time during the pandemic when the festival could not be celebrated. This did not stop people from worshipping Lord Ganesh.
“The Shiv Sena has taken forward the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak of public celebration of the festival. There is a competition to break the Shiv Sena’s monopoly. If you (referring to opponents) want to end Marathi dominance in Mumbai, take control of Ganpati mandals or purchase them,” it said.
The public celebration of Ganesh festival started from Maharashtra and today attempts are being made to end the importance of the state, the Marathi publication said.
“Maharashtra is the original land of Hindutva. Veer Savarkar, Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s first Sarsanghchalak were born here,” it said. The article also hit out at yoga guru Ramdev for claiming that Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde was the torch-bearer of Hindutva and Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy.