The BJP-Shinde side has roped in many relatives of Uddhav Thackeray.
NEW DELHI: By bringing in all the apolitical and estranged relatives of Uddhav Thackeray in the party fold, the BJP-Balasahebbanchi Shiv Sena coalition is trying to create political optics in Maharashtra. A source in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena said, “The saffron party-Shinde alliance wants to show to the people of the state that our party has been isolated and hence weakened.”
The BJP-Shinde side has roped in many relatives of Uddhav Thackeray like Bal Thackeray’s son Jaydev Thackeray; his second wife Smita Thackeray; his third wife Anuradha Thackeray and the lesser known Nihar Thackeray, who is the son of Bal Thackeray’s elder son and Uddhav’s brother Bindumadhav Thackeray who lost his life in an accident in 1996. Moreover, the saffron coalition has also inducted persons who had been in close association with Bal Thackeray including his helper Champa Singh Thapa and private secretary Moreshwar Raje.
A district president in the state said, “The more Thackerays are in the Shinde-led faction, the more the Shinde-led party would be able to project its inheritance to the founder of Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray.” The move is being seen as an inception of a fierce political battle that could take place, between Uddhav Thackeray -led Sena and BJP Shinde alliance. A party insider said, “Both the fronts are preparing to show each other their place in electoral battles and both the fronts know the importance of winning elections which will signify the credibility of either.” The two Sena factions have started preparing for the upcoming Brihanmubai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections where the Uddhav-led Sena could probably, according to sources, contest the elections in alliance with its Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA) partners as well as its new coalition partner Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), only if the BJP-Shinde allies with Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
A political analyst in the state said, “Politics is all about perception, if you are able to create a perception among people that Thackeray has been isolated, it will have a multiplier effect on the hardcore Thackeray electorate to choose the BJP-Shinde alliance in the pursuit of more weighty Thackeray side, which will mean that they have, by numbers, inherited the ideological part of Balasaheb Thackeray.”
He added, “However, this may or may not work. If the BJP machinery is successful in doing that, it will be able to gain some space among the hardcore Thackeray voters. But the Uddhav-led faction has occasionally tried to defang all the narratives. While they have been able to do that, there is more possibility that they will be able to do it again.”