Sharad Pawar Joins MVA Mega-procession to Protest Insults to Icons in Mumbai

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The main points of protest are the continuous insults to great personalities, the removal of the state Governor for his recent remarks, the flight of industries to Gujarat, and the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row which has suddenly flared-up.

MUMBAI — Senior-most leader and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Saturday morning joined the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi’s mega-procession to protest against the repeated slurs on iconic personalities, here.

Others who will march with him include Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray, Congress state President Nana Patole, NCP state President Jayanta Patil, Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve, Congress Legislative Party Leader Balasaeb Thorat and others.

Thousands of activists of various political parties, trade unions, workers, women, youth and social groups, teachers, auto-rickshaw unions, NGOs and others have gathered at a spot near Byculla flyover for the march which will go upto the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, around 5 kms away.

The Mumbai Police have deployed extra-tight security for the maha-morcha with over 2,500 personnel posted en route, drones and CCTVs monitoring all aspects of the procession and kept on standby other agencies.

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

The other prominent leaders joining the procession are Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi, Naseem Khan, Aditya Thackeray, Sanjay Raut, Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Dilip Walse-Patil, Bhai Jagtap, Dr. Raghunath Kuchik, Vinayak Raut, Supriya Sule, Chhagan Bhujbal, Sanjay Nirupam, Anil Parab, Arvind Sawant, Anil Desai, MPs, MLAs, some Maratha groups’ leaders, and representatives of other organisations.

Leaders of various parties optimistically claim that the todays’ procession could attract over three lakh people, with thousands of workers trooping in from all over the state since Thursday evening.

The main points of protest are the continuous insults to great personalities, the removal of the state Governor for his recent remarks, the flight of industries to Gujarat, and the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row which has suddenly flared-up.

The marchers are also highlighting the 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.

Coming just ahead of the Winter Session of Legislature next week, today’s procession, along with a series of protests held across the state in the past fortnight has apparently unnerved the ruling Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party, and it has ‘appealed’ to the Opposition parties to ensure that the demonstration is peaceful. — IANS

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