Setback for Thackeray, 4,000 party workers join Shinde camp

 

Mumbai: In a severe setback to Shiv Sena chief and former Maharashtra Chief Minister, nearly 4,000 Shiv Sena workers from Worli – Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s constituency – have joined the Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena on Sunday, as per media reports. The Sena workers went to join up with the Shinde faction at the Chief Minister’s official residence at Varsha, in the Malabar Hills neighborhood of the city, according to the Free Press Journal.

The Context

After Sena rebel Shinde formed the Maharashtra government in June, the conflict shifted to seizing control of the party that Thackeray’s father—Bal Thackeray—had founded. Shinde became the CM with the support of 40 rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP. Thackeray moved the SC seeking disqualification of the rebels and claimed the ECI couldn’t decide on the “real Sena” when their disqualification is pending. Following the 2019 state Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena and its longtime ally, the BJP, had a falling out. The Shiv Sena claimed that the BJP leadership had broken its promise to share the position of chief minister on a rotating basis between the two parties.

 

Dussehra shock

The development happened ahead of Udhav Thackeray’s Dussehra rally. This is a major blow for Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the Dussehra event. Three to four thousand Shiv Sainiks from Aaditya Thackeray’s constituency have reportedly joined the Shinde faction, according to DNA. The activists made this decision ahead of the Dussehra rally to be organized by the Thackeray faction. Thackeray was allowed to hold the rally following permission of Bombay High Court. Previously, the dispute over hosting a Dussehra rally erupted between the two factions. Both organizations had sent separate letters to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), but the latter declined permission, citing law and order concerns. Following this, both sides petitioned the Bombay High Court, which granted the Thackeray faction permission to organize the event beginning on Sunday.

 

Setback for Thackeray in SC

On September 27, the Supreme Court refused to prevent the Election Commission from ruling on Eknath Shinde’s claim to be the true Shiv Sena. The Thackeray-led faction also petitioned the top court to prevent the ECI from deciding on the Shinde-led group’s claim over the “real” Sena and its symbol.

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