Over 50 Parties, Groups to Join Opposition’s Mega Protest Mumbai March Against Govt

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MUMBAI — Over 50 political parties, unions, associations, groups and NGOs are expected to join the mega-procession, organised by Maharashtra’s opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on Saturday, to protest various issues, organisers said.

MVA members, the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Shiv Sena-UBT, besides several trade unions, workers unions, teachers, auto rickshaw unions, and social groups, will join the march from Byculla to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), a distance of around 5 kms on Saturday morning.

After a suspense of several days, the Mumbai Police on Friday finally accorded permission for the mega-morcha, paving the way for the flexing of muscles on Saturday, amid tight police security en route being deployed.

This is the second biggest show of strength coming after the massive procession with some 80 parties and groups organised in Pune on December 13, along with a shutdown.

The top leaders of various parties who will join the procession include former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Deputy CM and present Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, and Congress state chief Nana Patole.

The other prominent leaders will be Jayant Patil, Naseem Khan, Sanjay Raut, Dilip Walse-Patil, Bhai Jagtap, Dr Raghunath Kuchik, besides representatives of various other groups, said NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.

Leaders of various parties estimate that Saturday’s march could attract over three-four lakh people, with thousands of workers trooping in from all over the state since Thursday evening.

The main points of protest would be the continuous insults to great personalities, for the removal of the Governor for his recent remarks, the flight of industries to Gujarat, the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row, said Congress coordinator for the procession, Arif Naseem Khan.

The marchers will also raise the issue of steep inflation suffered by the masses, the growing unemployment figures, lack of jobs for the youth, the derogatory statements used by certain ruling alliance ministers against women, and other burning issues, he said.

The procession, along with a series of protests held across the state has unnerved the ruling Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party which has now “appealed” the Opposition to ensure that the demonstration is done peacefully.

“This is a question of the ‘pride and respect’ of Maharashtra and all people of the state are upset at the manner in which the present illegal government has been functioning to the detriment of the state’s interests on all fronts,” said Sena-UBT’s national spokesperson Kishore Tiwari.

Other prominent leaders who will join the procession will be Balasaheb Thorat, Aditya Thackeray, Ambadas Danve, Vinayak Raut, Supriya Pawar, several MPs, MLAs and other functionaries, plus activists of different parties coming here from all over the state. — IANS

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