Uddhav Thackeray gets ammo to tighten his grip over Marathi Manoos ahead of BMC elections

Mumbai and BMC have been of great importance for Shiv Sena and Thackeray has hinted that he was prepared for a battle against BJP-Shinde combine to retain its supremacy.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Saturday, July 30, 2022, 08:22 PM IST
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Mumbai: Shiv Sena President & former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray with party leader Sanjay Raut addresses a press conference at his residence, in Mumbai, Saturday, July 30, 2022. | (PTI Photo)

Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which is busy weathering the present crisis after the rebellion by Eknath Shinde-led legislators and the fall of the MVA government, got a new lease of life following Governor BS Koshyari’s move to shower praise on Gujaratis and Rajasthanis while belittling the contribution of Marathi Manoos in the development of Maharashtra.

Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has also got ammunition to aggressively play up the Marathi Manoos card along with Hindutva to take on BJP in the coming BMC elections. Further, Thackeray will exploit every opportunity to target BJP for its alleged move to separate Mumbai and thereby reduce its importance after Koshyari remarked that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis leave Mumbai and Thane, Mumbai will lose its identity as the country’s financial capital.

Mumbai and BMC have been of great importance for Shiv Sena and Thackeray has hinted that he was prepared for a battle against BJP-Shinde combine to retain its supremacy. Koshyari’s remarks and uncertainty over BJP-Shinde combine’s ability to put a mark may come handy for Thackeray to rejuvenate and revive party organisation and thereby counter BJP’s Mission 2022.

Thackeray has reiterated that Koshyari may have spoken at the behest of somebody while targeting BJP in a bid to divide communities. Thackeray will further step up attack on BJP and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde by warning them that attempts to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra will never be allowed to succeed as Maharashtra has got Mumbai after a lot of struggle and shedding blood. Thackeray will reach out to the voters while cautioning them of the danger of Mumbai’s separation from Maharashtra and expose BJP’s purported game plan with new ally Eknath Shind to wipe off Shiv Sena so that it could achieve its goal to split Maharashtra into three states.

Koshyari’s statement has put the BJP and Eknath Shinde camp on a sticky wicket even though they have distanced themselves from the former’s statement. Even though BJP and Shinde have said that they would do everything to protect the Marathi Manoos and pursue Hindutva, Thackeray will make all efforts to checkmate them while projecting them as ‘’opportunists’’ who joined hands for power.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has recently claimed that since Shiv Sena – which has been advocating undivided Maharashtra – was a major obstacle for the BJP to fulfil its dreams and therefore it has engineered a split in the Shiv Sena legislators.

Koshyari made his controversial statement on a day when the BMC had drawn lots for 236 wards including 63 wards reserved for the Other Backward Classes in the wake of the Supreme Court allowing OBC quota in urban and rural local bodies.

Thackeray would take an opportunity to reiterate, ‘’Our Hindutva is of ‘Ram in heart and job in hand. Our Hindutva is not to burn houses, but to light stoves in houses.’’ Thereby, he will increase his efforts to bring non-Marathi speaking people into the party fold and take BJP head on.

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