Mumbai, 29th July 2022: Uddhav Thackeray resigned from the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra just a month ago. 40 out of his 54 MLAs rebelled against him under the leadership of Eknath Shinde. Days after the rebellion against him, Thackeray announced that he would not stop anyone from leaving him and that he would rebuild the party again.
He and his son Aaditya Thackeray have been holding meetings with party functionaries, visiting party offices and trying to strengthen the party cadre.
The father-son duo first focused on Mumbai which has been a stronghold of the Shiv Sena. Of the 13 Shiv Sena MLAs in Mumbai, five are with Shinde, while seven are still with Thackeray (one has died and the seat is vacant). Most of the councillors of Shiv Sena have also stood with Thackeray till now. After Mumbai, Uddhav Thackeray will now start visiting other parts of the state to mobilize the party cadre and connect with the people. The people close to Thackeray insist that Shiv Sena voters have not changed their allegiance.
A prominent Shiv Sena leader said, “In the 2014 assembly elections, despite the Modi wave, we contested against the BJP in a triangular fight and won 63 seats. In the 2019 assembly elections, we won 55 seats in alliance with the BJP. The seats we have won in two successive elections have the traditional support base of Shiv Sena which remains loyal to the party and not the MLA. So Uddhav and Aditya are trying to connect with the people and the grassroots level workers.”
“In the next few months, we will ensure that both of them will visit the constituencies of all the 40 rebel MLAs and appeal to the voters to stand with Shiv Sena,” he added.
In response to this, Eknath Shinde is also on a state tour from June 30.
A senior leader of the Shinde camp said, “The chief minister will travel across the state in several phases in the next few months. This will make him a well-known face in the entire state and our MLAs will also believe that we are in touch with the people. This will counter the impact of Thackeray’s move to create sympathy among the people.”
Both sides are eagerly waiting for the Supreme Court hearing on August 1.