A full-page advertisement that appeared in major newspapers in the state on Tuesday cited a survey that showed Chief Minister Eknath Shinde ahead of Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in popularity. It did not feature Fadnavis’s photo, while its tagline read “Modi in the country, Shinde in Maharashtra.”
Opposition leaders dubbed it a “political drama” and a “power struggle within the coalition,” and they raised a slew of questions, including why the survey was conducted, how many people took part, and how the calculation was done. How could they have only considered CM Eknath Shinde as the preferred candidate for Chief Minister of Maharashtra?
The advertisement in the newspaper mentioned that CM Eknath Shinde gained around 26% for the post of CM, while Dy CM gained around 23% for the post.
Uddhav-faction Shiv Sena took a jibe in their mouthpiece Saamana over the advertisement and said, “The Shinde group has become a slave of the rulers of Delhi. It has stooped so low that Balasaheb Thackeray’s picture was removed due to the fear of Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. How can such timid people call themselves the Shiv Sena and inheritors of Bal Thackeray’s legacy?”
“The Shinde-Fadnavis alliance is spreading a complete conspiracy,” UBT Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant told Afternoon Voice. “The important question here is: which agency did this survey, and is that agency authenticated? “If they are so popular in the state, why haven’t there been any BMC polls yet?”
“It is the lowest level of politics seen in the state,” said veteran Congress leader Ratnakar Mahajan. “The political campaign that has begun by these political parties and the current government of the state should showcase the details of the agency and the details of the survey, like methodology and what questions were asked, and a sample of the survey should be shared with the public, and if 26% are in favor of the Shinde government, then 74% are against it.”
When asked how they see political changes in the Shinde-Fadnavis government alliance after the state newspaper advertisement, NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, “they have become so hungry for power and position in the state, which has caused internal issues in the present government that could be a problem in the state.”
“People are creating political controversy unnecessarily because the advertisement and survey were done by an independent agency, and the percentage of the survey was shown to depict the current government’s strong alliance, and ministers of the state are working hard with a lot of efforts to ensure people give votes to PM Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls,” said Krishna Hegde, spokesperson of the Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction.