Maharashtra: Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray Appoints Core Committee To Steer Party's Strategy For General Elections 2024

Maharashtra: Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray Appoints Core Committee To Steer Party's Strategy For General Elections 2024

Since the party is a part of the INDIA alliance, there will be a need for tremendous skills in negotiations vis-a-vis seat sharing.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 09:35 PM IST
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Uddhav Thackeray | PTI

In the run up to the general elections Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray did an organisational rejig recently appointing six close confidants as party leaders. In effect, these six persons will form the core committee of the organisation assisting Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray in finalising the party's strategy for the upcoming polls. Since the party is a part of the INDIA alliance, there will be a need for tremendous skills in negotiations vis-a-vis seat sharing. The party has a humongous task at hand with the ruling BJP determined to wipe it out from the face of Maharashtra. But then Uddhav is a man of steel who is at his best when he is pushed to the wall. He is ably assisted by Aaditya, who is a remarkably articulate leader who shares his father's strong sense of determination.

The six leaders are Anil Desai, Rajan Vichare, Vinayak Raut, MLAs Ravindra Waikar, Sunil Prabhu and MLC Anil Parab. The FPJ takes a look at each of them.

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai |

Anil Desai

A very sophisticated and low profile person, Desai rose up the ranks of the party as a leader of unions in the insurance companies. A man with proven organisational skills, he is fiercely loyal to the Thackerays and has been assisting them behind the scenes for the past several years. A man of few words, he is widely regarded as a person who can deliver whatever task is assigned to him. He was rewarded with a seat in the Rajya Sabha.

Rajan Vichare

Rajan Vichare | Facebook

Rajan Vichare

He is a senior leader from Thane. Along with chief minister Eknath Shinde, Vichare built up and consolidated the party organisation in Thane after the demise of the local strongman Anand Dighe. When Shinde raised the banner of revolt in June, 2022 and helped the BJP pull down the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, it was taken for granted that Vichare would also abandon the Thackerays. However, he pleasantly surprised everybody by casting his lot with Uddhav Thackeray. Over the years he has managed to carve out a political base for himself in Thane district. Uddhav Thackeray trusts him implicitly and he will be the points person for the Sena (UBT) in politically neutralising Eknath Shinde in his home turf of Thane.

Vinayak Raut

Vinayak Raut | Facebook

Vinayak Raut

A party veteran, he has been loyal to the Thackerays consistently over the years. Though from Mumbai, he has created a powerful base in the Konkan where he is known to openly take on the might of Union minister Narayan Thackeray. He was also at the helm of the agitation against the Nanar oil refinery and the Jaitapur atomic project in the Konkan. If the Sena UBT wields considerable influence in the Konkan belt, it largely because of Raut who is a fearless leader.

Ravindra Waikar

Ravindra Waikar | File

Ravindra Waikar

He started his career as a corporator and later graduated to become an MLA and a minister. A highly resourceful person he one of the major fund-raisers for the organisation. Recently, he found himself embroiled himself in a controversy following his move to build a five-star hotel in a public plot in Jogeshwari. He suffered a setback in Bombay high court. But, that has not deterred him from going ahead with his political activities. He is one man who uncomplainingly executes the orders of Uddhav and Aaditya. He has a good mass base in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Sunil Prabhu with Aaditya Thackeray

Sunil Prabhu with Aaditya Thackeray | Facebook

Sunil Prabhu

He among the few Shiv Sainiks who stubbornly resisted efforts by the Eknath Shinde camp to desert the Thackerays. There were allegations that crores of rupees were paid to persuade Sena MLAs to defect. But, the short-statured Prabhu spurned all efforts to woo him and decided to remain with the Thackerays. He is active in Dindoshi and other areas of the western suburbs. He has deep roots among the rank and file of the party and the cadres often depend on him to convey their views to the party leadership. With his sharp brain, he is known to have solved innumerable problems faced by the party.

Anil Parab

Anil Parab | ANI

Anil Parab

He is an advocate by profession who was recently in the news over the controversial resort he had built at Dapoli in the Konkan. Despite threats from the Enforcement Directorate and other central agencies, he has steadfastly remained with Thackerays. He was much loved by the late Bal Thackeray and now he is assisting the second and third generation of the Thackerays in their political battle against the BJP which is out to finish the party in Maharashtra. He is a daily visitor to the Thackeray household at Matoshri bungalow. He enjoys the fullest confidence of the Thackeray family.

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