The Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena which were once known for opposing the Valentine’s Day has softened its stand against the festival keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Both the parties are eyeing youth votes hence they don’t want to play spoilsport by protesting against Valentine’s Day. Ever since Aditya Thackeray has been appointed as the head of Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena the party has chosen to lie low on this issue. Since last few years, youth has been staying away from Valentine’s Day celebrations as they were worried about protests from the moral brigade. This year both the parties would busy concentrating on the preparation for the elections. They also don’t want to lose the youth votes by disrupting the Valentine’s Day celebrations.
When AV contacted Shiv Sena leaders to inquire whether they are planning to protest against the Valentine’s Day they refused to comment about it and many of them asked us to speak to the senior leaders of the party.
Ramdas Kadam, Shiv Sena leader was reluctant to reply about whether Shiv Sena will oppose the Valentine’s Day celebrations. He said, “I am unaware about the party’s stand about Valentine’s Day. Its better you ask Subash Desai or other leaders of the party about this issue. I don’t want to comment more about this matter.”
Diwakar Raote, Shiv Sena MLA said, “I don’t know whether Shiv Sena is planning to Valentine’s Day as I am yet to receive any instruction from the party. I am out of Mumbai hence I can’t comment on this issue.”
When we asked Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gore whether the party will hold demonstrations against Valentine’s Day then she disconnected the phone. When we tried to contact her later she remained unavailable for comment.
Even the Shiv Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena is not mood to spoil the Valentine’s Day celebrations. Yuva Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar said, “I don’t whether Yuva Sena will oppose the Valentine’s Day celebrations. I don’t want to comment about this matter.”
Yuva Sena member, Abhijeet Adsul said, “We are not opposing Valentine’s Day celebrations. Let youth have fun on this day.”
Even the MNS won’t be holding agitation against Valentine’s Day this year. When we contacted MNS leader Mangesh Sangle he said, “We won’t be disrupting the Valentine’s Day celebrations. We will follow the instructions of our leader Raj Thackeray in this regard.”
Talking to AV youth said that they are free to celebrate the Valentine’s Day as not political party would interfere.
Ashok Ashiyani, a FY Bsc student from Bandra said, “I was worried that political parties might spoil my Valentine’s Day celebrations. But now I can freely look forward to have a good time.”
Payal Vyas, a SY Bcom student from Marine Lines said, “Political parties had earlier attacked youth while celebrating Valentine’s Day. This year they are more concerned about youth votes hence they are not disrupting the event.”