Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra following a rebellion by senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and others, the loyalists of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took out a two-wheeler rally in Mumbai and held protests in parts of Pune against the dissident leaders on Sunday.
Sena workers and its local functionaries, led by the Pune city unit president Gajanan Tharkude, staged ‘jode maro’ (hit with footwear) protests at two places – outside Balgandharva auditorium and in Kothrud – and raised slogans against the rebels.
The party workers were seen hitting Mr Shinde’s photo with footwear.
“These protests are meant to put out a message that Shiv Sainiks will not forgive the traitors,” Mr Tharkude said.
Party corporators, local office-bearers and workers took part in the agitations, he said, adding that a two-wheeler rally was also organised in support of Mr Thackeray.
On Saturday, Sena workers, led by corporator Vishal Dhanwade, had vandalised the office of rebel MLA Tanaji Sawant in Katraj area for “betryaing” chief minister Thackeray.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, a large number of party workers, including women, assembled outside the office of ‘Saamana’, Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, at Prabhadevi and took out a two-wheeler rally raising slogans against Mr Shinde and rebel MLAs.
A Sena supporter, who took part in the rally, said, “Hindutva is with Uddhav Thackeray. If rebel MLAs have to say anything, then they should come to Mumbai instead of sitting in Guwahati.”
“Shiv Sena belongs to Balasaheb Thackeray. Nobody else can stake claim to it. We are here to support Uddhav Thackeray,” another party worker said.
In view of the rally, the Mumbai police tightened security in the area, an official said.
Meanwhile, a signboard carrying the name of Byculla MLA Yamini Jadhav, who is one of the party rebels, was found blackened. The board is positioned under the Byculla bridge, a police official said.