Maharashtra saw big drama today, but this was very much expected. If you look at the series of events you can decode the political crises. Many Shiv Sena leaders were against the alliance with Congress, and those who expressed their disappointments were asked to remain silent. Shiv Sena got divided into groups. Above all Aaditya Thackrey’s supremacy was not accepted by many veteran leaders.
During Rajya Sabha elections cross-voting by Sena and Congress members gave the BJP one more seat than it should have won. Yesterday, cross-voting took place again in key elections for the Legislative Council. The Sena also failed to get the support of independent MLAs and the smaller parties.
After the debacle, Eknath Shinde met Chief Minister. He expressed his reason of supporting the BJP, but Uddhav Thackeray did not take him serious meanwhile the report also suggests that the people around CM such as Narvekar and Aditya Thackrey become a hindrance in communication.
Sharad Pawar was in Delhi to serve as a key player in the opposition’s plan to contest the Presidential election. The master of mixed signals said last week that he would not be the Opposition’s candidate, stating that he wants to remain in active politics. His allies could perhaps have taken that as a sign of something big in the mix.
Eknath Shinde was also upset at the growing primacy accorded to Sanjay Raut, Sena MP, by Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde, who is a mass leader from Thane and used to choreograph the biggest Sena events, felt slighted at the new order of precedence in the party and the government. Sources say that he had no problem with the increasing prominence. After suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra MLC elections and the camping of ‘rebel’ party MLAs in Gujarat, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday held an urgent meeting of all Shiv Sena MLAs.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar told reporters in Mumbai that the MVA government in Maharashtra will continue in the state under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray.
Shinde was, meanwhile, removed from the post of a party group leader. MLA Ajay Chaudhary replaces Shinde. At least 30 MLAs of the Shiv Sena under the leadership of Shinde, Minister for Urban Development in the MVA government in Maharashtra, were taken to the Le Meridien hotel in Surat on Tuesday, indicating a rebellion that could break up the Sena and possibly trigger the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government in the state. In another development, Milind Narvekar, the personal assistant of CM Uddhav Thackeray and MLC Ravindra Fatak went to Surat to discuss with Shinde and convince him to return back to the state.
Meanwhile, hours after triggering a political crisis in Maharashtra, Shinde has said that he is a part of “Balasaheb’s staunch Shiv Sainiks,” and he “will never cheat for power”. “We are Balasaheb’s staunch Shiv Sainiks … Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb’s thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb teachings,” Shinde tweeted.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has termed the issue as an “internal matter” of Shiv Sena and expressed confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to find a solution to the political crisis faced by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Pawar said that this is the third instance when someone has tried to destabilise the government and it may not succeed. “Looking at the situation, I think we will find out some solution,” said Pawar.
Who Is Eknath Shinde?
From working in a beer bar in Thane and driving an autorickshaw to make ends meet, to becoming the most powerful leader in the present Shiv Sena after the Thackerays, Eknath Shinde, 58, followed the path of Chhagan Bhujbal and Narayan Rane who had earlier managed to engineer a split in the Sena.
Eknath Shinde sidelined turns a rebel
The emergence of Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the Yuva Sena president, and his bid to groom the party’s youth wing leaders like Varun Sardesai also upset Eknath Shinde. Once deemed to be the tallest leader in the party after the Thackerays, the rise of younger leaders in its ranks is said to have rankled Shinde.
While Shinde has always sworn allegiance to the Sena and Thackerays, there have been murmurs in recent months that he was “unhappy” over the way the party was being run and the treatment being meted out to old Sainiks like him. Over the past two years, the Sena underwent a generational change in its leadership which saw the sidelining of its many senior leaders and the emergence of a new guard led by Aditya Thackeray, the son of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.