Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday led the 'Savarkar Gaurav Yatra' in Thane city in which hundreds of people took part to honour late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shinde-led Shiv Sena had last month announced that Savarkar Gaurav Yatras would be taken out in each district of Maharashtra to honour Savarkar's contribution to the country and to counter Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's criticism against him.
On Sunday, the yatra participants, wearing saffron caps with 'Mi Savarkar' (I am Savarkar) and other messages written on them, paid floral tributes to Savarkar at the Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan auditorium in Thane city from where the yatra commenced.
A tableau displaying information related to Savarkar was also part of the yatra. Shinde and some other leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP coalition participated in the yatra on a makeshift 'chariot' and waved to citizens as the yatra moved to cover four Assembly segments in the city.
Flowers were showered on the participants as several of them moved around Thane city using more than 200 motorbikes and around 100 auto-rickshaws raising slogans in praise of Savarkar and the country.
BJP leader Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Thane MLA Sanjay Kelkar, Thane BJP chief and MLC Niranjan Davkhare, former mayor Naresh Mhaske, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik and many other local leaders of the ruling coalition participated in the yatra.
Huge hoardings of Savarkar were put up in the city, patriotic songs were played during the yatra and rangolis (colourful patterns) were made at various places.
A number of women in colourful attire and carrying lezims also participated in the yatra.