Aaditya Thackeray: Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Friday joined the ‘Bharat Jodi Yatra’ led by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Kalamanuri in Hingoli, Maharashtra. On the way, both the leaders walked together, waving the hands of the people standing in the line.
His party colleague and Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council Ambadas Danve joined the march along with Aaditya Thackeray. Former MLA Sachin Ahir also participated in this.
Party chief Uddhav Thackeray has also been invited to join the march during the Maharashtra phase.
The cross country walking march has entered its 65th day.
The gesture indicates closeness between the two parties with differing ideologies, who agreed on a common minimum program to form the now defunct Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
So far many prominent leaders have joined this march led by Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party has consistently maintained that anyone who agrees with the yatra’s message – to stand in solidarity with people from different communities across the country – can join them.
Rahul Gandhi has also been attacking the BJP-led state government in Maharashtra for missing out on some big projects in other states – an issue that Aaditya Thackeray has consistently raised.
Aaditya Thackeray and Rahul Gandhi have come together at a time when a new government in the state will contest its first election after the Shiv Sena split and the BJP is backing the rebels to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. With the Municipal Body Elections (BMC) and other municipal elections, Aaditya Thackeray’s visit could mean that both the parties will contest in alliance.
When Chief Minister Eknath Shinde rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray, he cited alliance with Congress and NCP as one of the reasons for doing so. Despite major political setbacks, it is noteworthy that Aaditya Thackeray has publicly reaffirmed his party’s ties with the Congress, pointing to an ideological shift in the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
Flowers were showered on the participants in Seni village of Ardhpur taluka of Nanded and march entered Hingoli district at Choramba Phata.
In Hingoli, a group of people, including several women and children, arrived to cheer the march, even bringing an elephant along.
Standing by the roadside, 22 ex-servicemen were among those who raised slogans in support of the march and demanded implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (ORO).
“We think the Congress can fulfill this demand (OROP),” former army personnel Sahebrao Hoe told news agency PTI.
Mr. Gandhi interacted with people on his way to the march.
On Thursday, Nationalist Congress Party leaders Supriya Sule and Jitendra Awhad took part in the march. While NCP chief Sharad Pawar was invited to attend the yatra, he could not take part due to ill health.
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