Mumbai: The Shiv Sena, which is an alliance partner in both the BJP-led Central and Maharashtra governments, on Saturday launched agitations against the runway fuel price hike and inflation by carrying empty gas cylinders and organising mock funerals of the BJP.
Thousands of Shiv Sena activists led by ministers, MPs, MLAs, and local unit leaders led the agitations carried out at 12 places all over Mumbai and its suburbs.
Scores of Shiv Sainiks including MPs Arvind Sawant and Anil Desai, several sitting and former legislators and municipal corporators, shakha and gat pramukhs were detained across the city by police.
The Sainiks, many carrying empty gas cylinders or fuel cans, posters and placards, raised deafening slogans attacking the central and state governments headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis respectively.
Thousands of activists including women and youth, chanted slogans of “Narendra Sarkar, Hai Hai, Devendra Sarkar Hai Hai,” “BJP Come to Your Senses, Or Get Out,” “Jai Ram, Shri Ram, BJP Ram Ram,” at various locations catching the attention of the weekend commuters and tourists.
In Bandra, Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray reiterated that demonetization has completely failed and multiplied the miseries of the common masses.
The protests were held at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Borivali, Kandivali, Jogeshwari, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, Chembur, where the speakers alleged a scam in the current high prices of petrol, diesel and gas, and organised a mock funeral of the BJP government in Borivali.
In a statement, the party said the Bharatiya Janata Party is solely responsible for the all round inflation confronting the country and if it failed to bring it under control, the Shiv Sena would launch a nationwide agitation.
The Sena said during the Congress regime, the BJP leaders had launched protests against inflation, but this time their leaders are backing the decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which had hit the masses hard.
This is the second major agitation spearheaded by the Shiv Sena, which is a constituent of the centre’s ruling National Democratic Alliance and a partner in Maharashtra.
Earlier this month, it had organized protests across the state demanding implementation of the total farm loans waiver package announced in June.
Saturday’s agitation programmes were sharply criticized by Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde.
Shelar said those who were elected to power on the strength of Modi are today raising slogans against Modi.
“Its said that when you raise slogans for the death of a living person, he lives a longer life. May Goddess Bhavani give them wisdom during the Navratri,” he said.
Munde said that the Shiv Sena’s protests are “a sham” as it continued to stick to power and when the price hike proposals are made, they remain mute instead of opposing it.
Similar protests were organised by Shiv Sena units in Kolhapur, Thane and other districts in the state as per a call given by party President Uddhav Thackeray last week.