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Rediff.com  » News » Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

Last updated on: February 14, 2012 12:55 IST

Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

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Mumbaikars can finally heave a sigh of relief. They will be able to celebrate this Valentine's Day in peace, as both Bal Thackeray and his nephew are busy campaigning for the crucial elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. 

The Shiv Sena, led by Bal Thackeray, and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, led by Raj Thackeray, have in the past been infamous for coming down heavily against young couples celebrating Valentine's Day, which they think is a Western concept. The parties have been criticised for compelling North Indians to pursue the 'Marathi Manoos' cause.

Both parties are cautious this time, since they do not want to hurt the sentiments of young voters, some of whom are going to exercise their voting rights for the first time.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

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Moreover, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, striving to dislodge the 16-year Sena-BJP rule in the Mumbai civic body, also plan to reach out to as many youths as possible on Valentine's Day with the purpose of seeking their votes by not disrupting their celebrations on Tuesday.

Parties are currently engaged in house-to-house contacts as a part of their exhaustive campaign which incidentally ends on Tuesday.

In fact, the message from the candidates of both parties is not just to solicit votes but also to encourage youth to celebrate Valentine's Day in high spirits. The soft approach of the Sena and MNS has left Mumbaikars surprised.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

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Police sources say they have already made adequate arrangement for supervising the election campaigns and also to ensure peaceful Valentine's Day celebrations.

Bala Nandgaonkar, MNS legislator and group leader in Maharashtra Legislative assembly, said, "MNS is not opposed to the outgoing celebrations of Valentine's Day. The day is generally very popular among the younger population. Our party chief, Raj Thackeray, knows the sentiments of the youth."

He made it clear that party leaders and workers will be busy on the last day of campaigning, and the party expected a large voter turnout, especially youth, to give their mandate to the MNS.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Shiv Sena, MNS to woo young voters on V-Day

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Anil Desai, the Shiv Sena secretary, said the party was not opposed to the celebrations on Valentine's Day. "Our stand has been made amply clear by party executive president Uddhav Thackeray. Nobody should capitalise on this issue," he opined.

Aditya Thackeray, grandson of Bal Thackeray, has been given the responsibility to mobilise support for the Shiv Sena party, especially from the younger population, in Mumbai and across the state.

Aditya, who heads the Yuva Sena, has already held road shows in Pune, Nashik, Solapur and Mumbai. He is taking up issues faced by college students. The Yuva Sena, under his leadership, had succeeded in improving its performance in elections to the Senate of the University of Mumbai.

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Photographs: Reuters

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