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Cable fraternity lays it on thick in Thackerays' honour

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MUMBAI: "We cable operators are like mice and Balasaheb is our Ganesha."

This was just one of the more sycophantic lines thrown up in a fawning demonstration of gratitude to Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray and his son Uddhav Thackeray at the CODA (Cable Operator and Distributor Association) meeting held at the Rang Sharda auditorium located in Bandra (Mumbai suburb) today.

Sena working president Uddhav Thackeray received mementoes from CODA functionaries and members such as Seven Star network's Nadir Ali and Raja, Sai Cable representatives, Sonali Cable's Suvarn Amonkar, others such as distributor Ganesh Naidu. The attractively designed mementoes included Ganesha idols and a dish shaped memento as well as a ship.

In fact, all the Sena officials in their speeches referred to these mementoes that were symbolic. For instance Sena functionary and cable operator Pradeep Chitre said: "We cable operators like mice and Balasaheb is our Ganesha."

Sena leader Subhash Desai said: "Balasaheb is our vignaharta (like Lord Ganesha who removes obstacles from the path) and sukhhartha (like Lord Ganesha who has given us happiness and peace). He also said that Balasaheb will ferry the cable operator's boat across rough waters."

CODA had ensured that all the necessary arrangements were made to give a warm welcome to top Sena leaders. The roads leading to the venue had orange flags. Specially dressed in Peshwa (Maratha kings) style attires, musicians played the tutari (a musical instrument of the Peshwa age) and greeted Uddhav Thackeray when he arrived.

CODA asked Uddhav Thackeray to garland a bust of Peshwa king Shivaji Raje and a photograph of the late Meenatai Thackeray (Balasaheb's wife).

When asked about this 'almost sychophantic" approach, a CODA official later said: "And why not, the Sena is the only political party to support the last mile operators when no one else did - not even the ruling NCP-Congress alliance government."

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