Finally, Shiv Sena has changed its old guards with new young and energetic spokespersons, but is it as clear as we are seeing it? A senior Shiv Sena leader said they are replacing to take on aggressive leaders from rival parties. Shiv Sena has appointed five new spokespersons replacing the party’s old guards. Outgoing spokespersons include Rajya Sabha MP and Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ editor Sanjay Raut, veteran leader and former Chief Minister and Speaker in Lok Sabha Manohar Joshi, party General Secretary Subhash Desai and Shwetha Parulekar. There was lots of outrage over Sanjay Raut for his unreasonable comments and statements to media on behalf of Sena, during assembly elections. Many political pundits hinted his overrated approach may have cost Shiv Sena. First and foremost, it was necessary for Uddhav to replace these old loudmouth leaders of Sena with some ‘sensible’ leaders.
Sanjay Raut is a politician from Shiv Sena party who is a Member of the Parliament of India representing Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. He is also the Executive Editor of Marathi Newspaper “Saamna”. There are rumours that the edits are always written by him not by any Thackerays. Saamna edits have created waves time and again, and they have been always noticed by media, considering it as the Sena’s mouthpiece.
Manohar Joshi is one of the prominent leaders of the Shiv Sena. He was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1995–1999. After completing MA in Law, he joined Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as an officer. He began his career by being elected to the Legislative Council from the Shiv Sena. He served three terms from 1972 till 1989. He became the Mayor of Mumbai during 1976 to 1977. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly from a Shiv Sena ticket in 1990. He became the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Maharashtra when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition came to power.
During his term as Chief Minister, he was embroiled in a scam involving the change of reservation of a plot of land in Pune, which was being developed by his son-in-law, Girish Vyas. Just a couple of months prior to the Bombay High Court passing a verdict against Girish Vyas and terming the housing complex “Sundew” illegal, under severe pressure from the opposition, Joshi resigned. Later, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the High Court but set aside the order to conduct criminal investigation against the former Chief Minister. It asked Joshi to pay the litigant Rs. 25,000, which he complied with. Later on, he was replaced with then Sena leader Narayan Rane, who is now in Congress party. However, Joshi was promoted to the Lok Sabha when he won from Central Mumbai in the 1999 General Elections. He was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2002 to 2004 during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration. He was elected for a six-year term to the Rajya Sabha on 20 March 2006, after being defeated in the previous Lok Sabha election from the Central Mumbai constituency. Joshi is a very humble and sensitive leader of Shiv Sena.
Subhash Desai is one of the finest leaders of Shiv Sena. He was a member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elected from Goregaon, till recently but defeated in just concluded election from same seat with BJP’s candidate Vidya Thakur. He was minister in Manohar Joshi’s ministry in 1996. He hails from a Maratha family. He was very close to BJP leader Late Gopinath Munde. A Thackeray family loyalist, Desai was elected from Goregaon constituency in northwest Mumbai and has been associated with the party for the past three decades in various capacities. He has given all his life for this party and his grassroot level concerns. He is one of the non-controversial politicians of Shiv Sena. Now, these entire senior leaders are sidelined and new team is coming up to take responsibility as spokespersons.
Peeved by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s abrupt move to dissolve the party’s women’s wing, Shwetha Parulekar returned to the Shiv Sena fold. Parulekar was heading the MNS women’s wing and was also the general secretary of the party. The women and labour wings of the MNS were dissolved by Raj Thackeray in a bid to infuse new blood and strengthen them for the challenges of the ensuing polls. But MNS could manage to win only one seat and its defeat was miserable. Anyway, every party needs to go through trials and errors for betterment, now the new appointees include Arvind Sawant, Vijay Shivtare, party leaders Dr. Manisha Kayande, Arvind Bhosale and Amol Kolhe. Let’s hope these changes bring some better future for Shiv Sena.