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Updated: January 17, 2014 06:01 IST

Sena members question Modi's social media campaigning

Alok Deshpande
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A file picture of Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray at a meeting in New Delhi.
A file picture of Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray at a meeting in New Delhi.

The first state level convention of office bearers of Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, on Thursday witnessed party activists' discontent against Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The convention also witnessed Sena's young leader Aditya delivering his first political speech, urging youngsters to vote for Sena.

In a special session organised to train party activists to use social media while campaigning for elections, Sena activists openly expressed their discontent about Mr. Modi alleging that his campaigning is not inclusive and is sidelining other members of National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Following the presentation made by Arvind Gupta, head of Mr. Modi's social media campaign, Sena activists raised questions as to why his campaigning does not include Sena founder late Bal Thackeray.

"Why is it that he is projected as an individual? There are partners in NDA and there are other leaders too," asked Vinay Shukla, a Sena activist from Mumbai, who is Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray's Hindi teacher in the past. He further went on to ask that why his campaigning does not include alliance partners.

It was followed by several questions alleging BJP for not helping its allies in elections but expecting Sena to help them.

Yuva Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar had to intervene in the interactive session, urging party members to not ask political questions and to concentrate only on social media.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray later clarified on the controversy. However even in his response, he did not clearly deny of having any difference with the BJP. "There will always be something against someone. But as campaigning will progress all the differences will be resolved," he said.

According to a senior Sena leader, the reaction of few sainiks was likely the response to Mr. Modi's rally in Mumbai, where the BJP leader did not even mention Sena or its leader late Bal Thackeray in his speech.

Mr. Uddhav also said that the issue of including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in alliance has not been discussed with BJP president Rajnath Singh in a meeting at Delhi on Wednesday.

Earlier, changing Late Bal Thackeray's line of 80% social service and 20% politics, his grandson and Yuva Sena chief Aditya said that his party will concentrate on the policy of 100% politics.

"It is time to say 100% politics and clear win in upcoming elections. We can do 100% social service only after winning elections," he said. He even hinted that his father Uddhav will be the candidate for chief minister's post after winning elections.

Mr. Uddhav however refused to comment on him being the CM candidate.

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