Ulhasnagar - the location which is making headlines since past two days after Kalyan MLA Ganpat Gaikwad of BJP was arrested for opening fire on Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde faction leader Mahesh Gaikwad inside police station premises- falls in the Kalyan parliamentary constituency represented by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's son Shrikant Shinde.
With the elections fast approaching, every incident taking place involving key leaders are triggering massive speculations over the impact it will have on the bigger political events.
Leaders politically at loggerheads
The leaders of the Shiv Sena and the BJP have since long been at loggerheads in Thane despite the two parties being part of the ruling 'Mahayuti' coalition in Maharashtra.
As per a PTI report of December 2023, after BJP won Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan elections, Ganpat Gaikwad demanded that the BJP field its candidate from Kalyan for the Lok Sabha polls. Also in June 2023, BJP leaders had passed a resolution not to support Shrikant Shinde's candidature after a case was registered against one of their workers over a conflict with Shiv Sena workers.
This shows there is some sour feeling within the two factions working together based on political aspirations.
Ganpat Gaikwad's son had come to the police station to lodge a complaint in connection with a land dispute when Mahesh Gaikwad arrived with his men. Later, Ganpat Gaikwad also reached the police station. During an altercation between the MLA and the Sena leader, Ganpat Gaikwad allegedly fired shots at Mahesh Gaikwad inside the senior inspector's chamber, injuring him and his associate, the official said.
According to Ganpat Gaikwad, he had bought a plot 10 years ago and a dispute was settled in his favour in the court. However Ganpant GAiwad claims that despite the the dispute being settled in his favour, tema Mahesh GAikwad had forcefully occupied the land.
He also levelled serious allegations against CM Eknath Shinde. He said, “Shinde saheb betrayed Uddhav (Thackeray) saheb, he will also betray BJP. He owes me crores of rupees. Shinde should resign if Maharashtra is to be well-managed. This is my humble request to Devendra Fadnavis (deputy CM) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he added.
Although the two leaders have had a long standing political rivalry, it is unlikely to affect the Sena-BJP partnership which is crucial for both parties with the larger goal of Lok Sabha Polls 2024. Alsothe firing incident was purely an outcome of personal altercation over a land dispute. Meanwhile, Deputy CM and home minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced a high-level probe into the Hill Line police station firing in Ulhasnagar and also assured people that “the law is the same for everyone, irrespective of the person or political party”.