In November 2019 when Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister at a grand ceremony in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, Eknath Shinde was among the two party leaders who took oath along with him.
With Uddhav becoming the first Thackeray to hold a constitutional position in the government, senior leaders including Shinde were wary about their future in the party. From day one, Shinde was disgruntled that Uddhav occupied the coveted seat instead of offering it to a senior leader like him.
Shinde is a stalwart from Thane who has been with Shiv Sena for decades. He contested for the post of corporator in Thane Municipal Corporation in 1997 and since then has been active in electoral politics by winning four consecutive Assembly elections. His son Srikant is an MP from Kalyan. Shindes rule the roost in Thane and Kalyan, and Uddhav had given the father and son to free hand in the Thane district.
However, Shinde was unhappy with the fact that Thackerays themselves have become active in the government and were holding key positions. Uddhav’s decision to introduce his son Aaditya Thackeray into the State cabinet did not go down well with Shinde and other senior leaders. Shinde was also unhappy about the treatment he received from Thackerays. He wanted to play a bigger role in the organizational setup.
BJP leaders in the State have been tapping Shinde for the last few months and even Uddhav was aware that Shinde was the “weak link” in the government. However, party leaders said that CM Thackeray and his close confidants failed to keep a close watch on Shinde’s movements and also could not anticipate his plans. On Wednesday, Shinde said that it is up to Uddhav to resign from the post as he has lost the support of the party MLAs.
BJP and Enforcement Directorate
In 2019 after Shiv Sena decided to snap ties with the BJP after Assembly polls, former Prime Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had hinted that he and his party would not allow the government to function smoothly. Fadnavis had warned that the government will collapse at any time and since then the BJP leaders have been giving deadlines for the fall of the Thackeray government.
Shiv Sena joined hands with the NCP and Congress and the ruling party alliance leaders are being slapped with Enforcement Directorate (ED) notices and probes. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut alleged that the BJP is using central agencies to put pressure on the MLAs and ruling party leaders.
June 22, 2022