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Why the Shiv Sena is silent on Valentine's Day

Last updated on: February 14, 2011 13:56 IST

Why the Shiv Sena is silent on Valentine's Day

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With Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's grandson Aditya taking over the Yuva Sena's reins, the party, which once vociferously opposed Valentines' Day celebrations, has chosen to lie low on the issue, in a bid to woo young voters and avoid any controversy ahead of the civic polls.

"We think there are more important issues to be sorted out than opposing Valentine's Day. The youth are also not too enthusiastic about the day and the celebrations have become less in the last two-three years," said Abhijit Panse, president of Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena, the student's union of the party.



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Defending the party's decision of not opposing V-Day celebrations, Abhijit said the new generation has understood that this is not part of Indian culture and they have stopped celebrating the V-Day.

Instead, the Sena has taken up issues like helping the youth get jobs in railways. Sena's executive president Uddhav Thackeray recently took up problems of Ganesh idol makers after the high court ban on the use of Plaster of Paris for making them, he said.



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The Sena has in the past vociferously protested against the day, terming it a 'western festival'.

Vandalism was an annual feature on Valentine's Day, as many of the party activists indulged in burning greetings, threatening youths and even attacking gift shops.

Even rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has expressed surprise over Sena's change of stand.



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"We have never opposed Valentine's Day celebrations. It's the Sena which has changed its stand about the day," MNS legislator Nitin Sardesai said.

A Sena leader, on condition of anonymity, said the party is eyeing BMC polls next year and in no way can afford to lose young voters.

"Development programmes like railway recruitment would attract them more to the party. Even the Yuva Sena does not want to get involved in any kind of controversy which would hurt sentiments of the youth," he added.



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