Thane, April 2 Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra, led the Savarkar Gaurav Yatra on Sunday, honoring the late Hindu nationalist V D Savarkar.
In order to recognize Savarkar’s contributions to the nation and to respond to Congressman Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of him, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shinde-led Shiv Sena made the announcement last month that Savarkar Gaurav Yatras will be held in each district of Maharashtra.
Marked with “Mi Savarkar” and other words, the yatra participants paid floral honor to Savarkar on Sunday at the Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan theatre in Thane, where the yatra had its beginning.
The Yatra also included a tableau with information on Savarkar.
In an improvised “chariot,” Shinde and a few other members of the governing Shiv Sena-BJP coalition waved to spectators as the yatra traveled across the city’s four Assembly districts.
The participants were showered with flowers as some of them rode more than 200 motorbikes and over 100 autorickshaws across Thane city while shouting praises for Savarkar and the nation.
The yatra was attended by many local leaders of the ruling coalition, including Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, BJP leader Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Thane MLA Sanjay Kelkar, Thane BJP leader and MLC Niranjan Davkhare, former mayor Naresh Mhaske, and many more.
Large Savarkar hoardings were placed across the city, patriotic songs were played throughout the yatra, and rangolis (vibrantly colored patterns) were created at various locations.
A handful of ladies dressed in bright colors and holding lezims also took part in the Yatra.