With 7 Sena MPs, Eknath Shinde in pole position to lead MahaYuti in Assembly polls

Mumbai: Securing victory in seven Lok Sabha seats, the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde demonstrated an impressive success rate compared to its allies in Maharashtra.

The Shinde faction’s triumph in constituencies like Thane, Kalyan, Mumbai North West, Aurangabad, Buldhana, Hatkanangle, and Maval has shaken the traditional support base of the Shiv Sena (UBT), serving as a wake-up call for former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

This victory underscores the Shinde-led Shiv Sena’s resolve to solidify its stance and strategically combat the Shiv Sena (UBT) in the forthcoming Assembly and local body elections scheduled this year.

With their strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls, expectations are high that the Shinde faction will intensify its efforts to cement its sway, aiming to effectively challenge the Shiv Sena (UBT)’s stronghold in these regions.

The triumphs in these constituencies indicate a substantial dent in the support base of Shiv Sena (UBT), especially in crucial areas like Thane and Kalyan. By clinching victories in these regions, the Shinde faction has showcased its capability to gather popular support and challenge the dominance of its rival faction.

It’s noteworthy that out of the 15 seats contested by the Shiv Sena, 13 saw direct challenges from its rival faction, Shiv Sena (UBT). Impressively, the Shiv Sena won in six of these constituencies — Thane, Kalyan, Hatkanangale, Buldhana, Aurangabad, and Maval.

This outcome raises questions about the extent to which Eknath Shinde’s faction may have eroded the vote bank of the Shiv Sena (UBT) through its successes.

Buoyed by the electoral success, the Shinde faction is likely to fortify their position further in the upcoming Assembly elections and the local body polls.

For the Shiv Sena (UBT), countering the growing influence of the Shinde camp in these areas presents a substantial challenge.

Personally, Eknath Shinde has weathered the odds and worked hard for the victory of his party nominees, not only by pulling out all the necessary resources, but also by carrying out hectic campaigning in their support.

Shinde is now ready to lead the MahaYuti in the upcoming Assembly elections, as repeatedly declared by the BJP.

After making inroads in the strongholds of the Shiv Sena (UBT), the Shinde faction will now make all-out efforts to further consolidate its position to checkmate the Shiv Sena (UBT) in the coming elections in the state.

The party lost Ramtek, Nashik, Yavatmal-Washim, Hingoli, Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Osmanabad, and Shirdi to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) nominees.

Even though the Shiv Sena (UBT) established its hold in Mumbai, it faced a humiliating defeat in its bastion Konkan region at the hands of the Shinde faction and the BJP.

With seven MPs, Shinde will now further tighten his grip over the party organisation and the government.

For Shinde, his proximity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah is a big positive, while his close relations with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis will come in handy to get more weightage during seat-sharing talks.

Meanwhile, Shinde on Thursday met his party’s seven newly-elected MPs and asked them to contribute to Sena’s success in the upcoming Assembly polls.

Those present at his official residence included Shrikant Shinde, Naresh Mhaske, Prataprao Jadhav, Sandipan Bhumre, Dhairyashil Mane, Ravindra Waikar, and Shrirang Barne.

In addition, Sanjay Mandlik and Rahul Shewale, who were defeated in the Lok Sabha elections, along with party MLA and spokesperson Sanjay Shirsat, were also present on the occasion.

–IANS

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