EYE ON CIVIC POLLS, BJP WOOS SAI BABA DEVO­TEES

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Naresh Ka­math

MUM­BAI: With the BMC elec­tions sched­uled in six months, the Mum­bai BJP seems to be in an ag­gres­sive mode to woo dif­fer­ent sec­tions of peo­ple.

The lat­est are the Sai Baba Bhakt Man­dals (or­gan­i­sa­tions com­pris­ing devo­tees of Shird Sai Baba) as lakhs of devo­tees of Sai Baba from Mum­bai and Thane un­der­take a Palki Padya tra (march on foot) to Shirdi in Ahmed­na­gar dis­trict dur­ing Di­wali.

On Wed­nes­day, Mum­bai BJP chief Ashish She­lar held a meet ing at Dadar, flanked by the city’s BJP lead­ers, in­clud­ing state minister Vidya Thakur where the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the var­i­ous Sai Bhakt man­dals par tic­i­pated and de­manded fa­cili ties to ease their jour­ney.

The meet­ing was also at­tended by BJP leader and de­vel­oper Suresh Haware, who heads the Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, who as­sured all help to the devo­tees.

Ac­cord­ing to She­lar, it was part of a so­cial ini­tia­tive un­der taken by the BJP to reach the var­i­ous sec­tions of the peo­ple.

“Our party is ex­pand­ing and peo­ple from dif­fer­ent sec­tions are join­ing it.

The meet­ing was an at­tempt to work out some way to ease the travel of these devo­tees,” said She­lar.

The devo­tees who walk for at least a week to Shirdi de­manded a ded­i­cated walk­way, toi­lets am­bu­lances, shel­ters as well as drink­ing water fa­cil­i­ties on their route.

The BJP as­sured that it wil take its de­mand to the state gov ern­ment.

The meet­ing was at­tended by at least 60 rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who out­lined the var­i­ous prob­lems

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