MUMBAI DIARY: The Future Hinges on Results

Uddhav Thackeray’s popularity graph has grown up tremendously in the state and also at national level. As political observers feels that Maharashtra and Mumbai can play a crucial role of “King Maker” in the formation of the government … writes VINOD RAGHAVAN

INDIA’s financial capital – Mumbai is all set to decide the fate of three heavyweight political leaders’ their future on June 4th.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is eyeing to break the record of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by occupying the country’s top post for the third consecutive term, is not leaving any stone unturned. While, his close ally turned bitter foe Uddhav Thackeray, who has been bruised and badly hurted for breaking his Shiv Sena, which was founded by his late father, who is popularly addressed as Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray, in his home turf Mumbai capital of Maharashtra state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uddhav Thackeray interacting during the Dwishatabdi Mahotsav (200 Years) of Mumbai Samachar, in Mumbai. (File Photo: ANI)

Political veteran 84-year-old, Sharad Pawar, is all set to take revenge against Modi-led BJP for engineering split in his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and dividing his joint family, with Ajit Pawar taking away his party symbol of “Wrist Watch” and also the party symbol, which was founded by senior Pawar after leaving Congress party.

Mumbai, has six Lok Sabha seats, which is believed to be the stronghold of the united Shiv Sena. After the split in Sena led by Eknath Shinde with 40 MLAs and 13 MPs, the power equation shifted to the Shinde faction supported by BJP in Maharashtra. This is the time for Uddhav Thackeray to flex his muscle and to show Modi-Shah and also to the Election Commission of India, that the party cadres and the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra are with him and his is the real Shiv Sena.

Shiv Sena was founded way back in 1960s by Balasaheb Thackeray to fight for the causes of Marathi Asmita (Maharashtra’s pride) and to regain the Maharashtrian pride, Uddhav has toured every nook and corner of Maharashtra with his alliance partners NCP-Sharad Pawar group, Indian National Congress with other smaller parties, addressed in all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies with huge rallies and systematically played the victim card vigorously, which has gone down well with the masses of Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray speaks during the floor test in assembly, Eknath Shinde, Jayant Patil and Aditya Thackeray is also seen. (File Photo: ANI)

Many old-timers from Mumbai and neighbouring Thane district feels that Uddhav has been back-stabbed by BJP-led by Modi-Shah. Shiv Sena which helped BJP for nearly three decades to grow from 2 MP party with Vajpayee and Advani at the helm, today they have become too big for their shoes.

In desperation, Modi addressed around 25 rallies in Maharashtra and Mumbai, also held a Road Show in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, which shows his panic. Modi might have realised Uddhav’s importance, thus recently, he told selected journalists that “I will be the first to reach Uddhav for any help” but while addressing public rallies, he takes potshot on Uddhav and also calls his Sena as “Nakli Sena” (Duplicate Sena) 

Earlier, in 2014 and 2019 BJP with united Shiv Sena the combine had sweeped all the six Mumbai seats and also the neighboring Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali seats were in their kitty. While, the alliance had bagged 42 seats from Maharashtra in 2014 and 2019.

Interestingly, political observers feels that Uddhav, got good support from the people of Maharashtra and also Muslim communities are whole-heartedly supporting him, as they have seen him in discharging his duties as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Communists were Sena’s bitter rivals for decades, are also supporting Uddhav openly and sharing dias in many of their strongholds, with a sole aim of stopping Modi to come back to power for the third time, as they fear that he will change the Constitution and will sell off all the government properties to his good friends.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in conversation with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP-SCP) chief Sharad Pawar during the INDIA bloc joint press conference, in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)

NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, is also facing the same problem, as his nephew Ajit Pawar, ditched him and fielded his wife Sunetra against Supriya Sule, a sitting MP and senior Pawar’s daughter from their stronghold Baramati near Pune.

Modi, who was seen as a new ray of hope in 2014 and 2019 with his charisma and speech, looks like he is fading as he has remained mum on his earlier poll promises of giving every year two crore jobs, bringing black money,  giving Rs15 lakh, price rise of essential commodities. However, he is talking about his vision of 2047 and to make India powerful nation globally.

People burst into laughter to Uddhav Thackeray calling Modi as “Gajini” Aamir Khan’s film, where he forgets and moves ahead with new promises.

Uddhav Thackeray’s popularity graph has grown up tremendously in the state and also at national level. As political observers feels that Maharashtra and Mumbai can play a crucial role of “King Maker” in the formation of the government.

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