After the October 2019 assembly elections, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine secured a comfortable majority. However, the saffron combine could not form the government because of differences over the issue of chief ministership. The BJP insisted on having its CM since it had more MLAs. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, however, claimed that its ally had promised the CM's post to him. Uddhav pulled out of the alliance and joined hands with Sharad Pawar's NCP to form the MVA government with himself as the CM. Then and there the BJP's central leadership and ex-chief minister Devendra Fadnavis decided to pull down the MVA coalition and politically finish the Shiv Sena. The arrest of Uddhav's motormouth M.P. Sanjay Raut, arrest of NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik, and ED raids on the premises of Uddhav's brother in law etc were a part of the BJP's Operation Lotus.
𝗚𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗼𝗿 𝗞𝗼𝘀𝗵𝘆𝗮𝗿𝗶 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗨𝗱𝗱𝗵𝗮𝘃'𝘀 𝗝𝗼𝗯 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁
The BJP tasked the erstwhile governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to place one hurdle after another in Uddhav's path. The piece de resistance of this operation was to get Eknath Shinde and 39 of his MLAs to move out of the Shiv Sena. Even as Uddhav was sleeping, several of his MLAs flew out of the state only to return a few days later to form the government with the BJP. The recent order of the Election Commission granting recognition to the Shinde's faction as the real Shiv Sena and the allotment of the Bow & Arrow symbol to it allegedly at the behest of the BJP gave a body to blow to Uddhav Thackeray and his faction.
𝗨𝗱𝗱𝗵𝗮𝘃 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗿𝘆: 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝘃 𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗮 𝗠𝗣
The question being asked in political circles is whether Uddhav will be able to counter the powerful assault mounted by the BJP on his party. His party insiders say that Uddhav, for all his soft demeanour, is a man made of steel. "He is best when under pressure despite the heart surgery he underwent in 2012. He has as many as eight stents in his heart, but that has not deterred him from working hard for the party," a Sena M.P. noted. "He is after all Balasaheb's son," he added.
𝗦𝗼𝗻 𝗔𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘆𝗮 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗨𝗱𝗱𝗵𝗮𝘃
And Uddhav is being helped majorly by his son Aditya, who has politically matured big time after his stint as a minister in the MVA government. Many bureaucrats of Mantralaya are highly impressed by Aditya's quick grasp of complex issues and his ability to articulate matters. His recent tours of the interiors of Maharashtras were also huge successes. Eknath Shinde may have the backing of a majority of MLAs and MPs, but the party organisation and its front bodies like the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, Sthanik Lokadhikar Samiti etc are more or less with Uddhav. The Yuva Sena, which is helmed by Aditya, is also in tact in almost all the districts of the state. As for funds, Uddhav's supporters have transferred most of it from the Shiv Sena to other accounts. The party headquarters, Sena Bhavan, at Dadar is under a trust controlled by Uddhav, so there is no question of Shinde's supporters occupying it.
𝗕𝗠𝗖 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗺𝘂𝘀 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗨𝗱𝗱𝗵𝗮𝘃
Udhav's allies like Sharad Pawar and Nata Patole of the Congress are closely watching these developments.
The litmus test will be the upcoming BMC elections which may be held in April. The Sena led by Bal Thackeray started its electoral politics in the BMC. Now it will be required to prove itself all over again in the civic polls in the face of a vicious campaign mounted by a cash-rich BJP, which wants to control the civic body with an annual budget of over Rs 50,000 cr.
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