Shiv Sena pulls up its socks ahead of BMC polls
BL Soni

Seeking to rejuvenate itself in the areas where it failed to put up a good show in the recent state assembly polls, Shiv Sena is set to undertake a series of shake-ups within the organisation.

A senior Shiv Sena leader said this reshuffle would also cover the party’s units in Mumbai to ensure that the organisational apparatus is ready to contest the elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“Some district chiefs in Maharashtra and vibhag pramukhs (division chiefs) in Mumbai may make way for fresher faces. This is being done in the light of the forthcoming local body elections (municipal corporations and zilla parishads),” the leader explained, adding that new and fresh blood would be given opportunities for upward mobility.

Similarly, the samparka pramukhs (communication chiefs) in charge of districts, who serve as a vital link between the party high-command and middle-rung and grassroots workers, may also be reshuffled. Legislators who have been left out of the state cabinet, may be accommodated within the party apparatus.

The Shiv Sena functionary added that special focus would be given to areas and districts where the party failed to put up a good show in last year’s assembly elections.

For instance, Shiv Sena faced a severe drubbing in Kolhapur district, where its incumbent legislators Chandradeep Narke (Karveer), Ulhas Patil (Shirol), Rajesh Kshirsagar (Kolhapur North), Satyajeet Patil Sarudkar (Panhala-Shahuwadi), and Sujit Minchekar (Hatkanangale), were defeated by their counterparts from the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Prakash Abitkar (Radhanagari) was the sole winner from the party, a result that has been attributed to anti-incumbency and the fallout of the floods in the region.

Similar changes are also in the offing in parts of the state like the larger Western Maharashtra region and Marathwada, where some senior Shiv Sena leaders like former minister of state Arjun Khotkar (Jalna) were defeated.

In the 2019 state assembly elections, Shiv Sena notched up a tally of 56 seats, down from 63 in 2014. This was despite the party being part of an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019, compared to 2014, when it had contested alone.

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