The move by the Election Commission to to recognise the Eknath Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena and allotting the party name , bow and arrow symbol to it has sparked off a major political slugfest in Maharashtra. And It promises to be bitter one if one goes by the war of words between the two sides. It is aggressive and sharp.
Eknath Shinde had slammed Uddhav for compromising his ideology for power to become Chief minister by entering into an unholy alliance with the Congress and the NCP . Uddhav in return has hit back hard saying it is now turn to teach the thieves a lesson for betrayal . The BJP which had backed Shinde’s revolt against Uddhav in words of Home Minister Amit Shah said truth has won by the EC decision.
Having lost his government , Chief Ministership and now his party name and symbol , Uddhav Thackeray now faces the biggest test of his political career . It i dor- or-die battle for survival. Uddhav in his recent tirade held BJP responsible for his going along with the Congress and the NCP . Amit Shah on the other hand said Uddhav after 2019 polls sought the help of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to realise his dream of becoming chief Minister.
Interestingly as the Sena battle reaches the Supreme Court, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar, the architect of the MVA government of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP has indicated that he does not want to get involved in the Sena symbol dispute. Pawar has in-fact urged Uddhav to accept the EC decision and start afresh . A point that was reiterated by his daughter and NCP MP from Baramati Supriya Sule.
But words of Pawar to move on in the Shiv Sena history is not an easy one . The nephew of Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray , Raj Thackeray, who was often seen as the political heir broke away from the Shiv Sena and formed the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2006 . But his political career barely took off. In-fact has not so far even after so many years.
The MNS party tale says it all – Seats in the Rajya Sabha: 0 / 245, Seats in the Lok Sabha: 0 / 543, Seats in the Vidhan Sabha: 1 / 288, Seats in the Vidhan Parishad: 0 / 78. So in a sense Uddhav has his task cut-out. The soon to be BMC polls and the assembly polls scheduled next year will prove how much people are with Uddhav as he claims to be with him .
One of the reasons why political pundits felt Uddhav faltered as Chief Minister because he did not have much administrative experience and never contested polls. His in- experience cost the party dearly. And when cases like – SSR case , Antilla ( Mukesh Ambani Residence) Bomb scare, Param Bir Singh former Mumbai Police, Resignation of NCP leader and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ( Released after a year in jail for alleged Rs 100 demand from Bars In Mumbai as alleged by former City police commissioner Param Bir Singh ) Commissioner came out of the closet he was left clueless and unable to handle the pressure . It was alleged by Shinde faction leaders that Uddhav did not communicate/ inaccessible to the party cadres too after becoming CM . Adding to his woes were the vicious news channels 24X7 who left no-stone unturned to mock the his led MVA government right from the start. Leading to his eventual exit.
As the Sena war intensifies , Rajya Sabha MP of Uddhav faction Priyanka Chaturvedi in strong tweet wrote, When institutions are EC- Entirely Compromised and one knows that the next attempt is to tame the judiciary, hope Hon SC of this country will stand up for democratic principles and constitutional morality. Anything lesser will only take us towards a banana republic.
Uddhav has decided to challenge the EC order in the Supreme Court . But going strictly by the past cases like -Rafale deal , Ram Mandir, Demonetisation , Pegasus case and the verdicts which came soon after , one is uncertain which way the SC will rule.
The war of words between the Eknath and Uddhav factions will only get shriller in the coming days and that does not bode well for democracy. Who emerges winner will be seen in the coming days. Moreover, in this sena versus sena battle – it is ultimately the people of Maharashtra who will decide whom they want to lead them in the future . And not number one obsessed news channels with their toxic super prime time debates headed by their vitriolic anchors.