HomePoliticsMaharashtra's Political Arena: Eknath Shinde Gears Up for High-Stakes Poll Campaign

Maharashtra’s Political Arena: Eknath Shinde Gears Up for High-Stakes Poll Campaign

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Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is set to kickstart a comprehensive election campaign, “Shiv Sankalp Abhiyan,” covering all 48 Lok Sabha constituencies across the state. The move comes amid a critical juncture for his party’s future.

As part of this campaign, Shinde plans joint rallies with alliance partners BJP and NCP’s Ajit Pawar. A dedicated central committee has been established to oversee the Abhiyan’s execution and coordinate with district-level party officials for its success.

Shinde’s rallies will unfold in two phases preceding joint alliance events. Commencing on January 6 from Yavatmal, the first phase will culminate in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. The second phase, starting on January 25 from Shirdi and concluding in Hatkanangale on January 30, will follow suit.

To conclude the “Shiv Sankalp Abhiyan,” a two-day special camp for Shiv Sena members and office-bearers is slated in Kolhapur.

Post his party’s split and gaining recognition as the legitimate Shiv Sena from the Election Commission, these elections mark Shinde’s debut electoral test and an opportunity to showcase his capabilities. Political analysts view this as a litmus test for the Sena’s future in Maharashtra and gauge Shinde’s grassroots support.

However, challenges loom large. Shinde faces the task of countering Uddhav Thackeray’s narrative that he betrayed the legacy of party founder Bal Thackeray. Additionally, Shinde aims to overcome the sympathy garnered by Uddhav post the Shinde-led rebellion, which led to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Shiv Sena’s struggle extends to consolidating its organisational structure. Shinde’s faction hasn’t been able to sway the loyalties of shakhas, particularly in Mumbai, where a limited number of shakha pramukhs and corporators have joined. Strongholds in Thane, Raigad, and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar remain the focus areas for the Shinde-led party.

In response, Shinde directed party leaders to ensure the success of the Abhiyan and emphasize government welfare schemes’ reach to the populace. His determination to contest all 48 Lok Sabha seats was evident as he urged party workers to rally support for ruling alliance candidates.

Meanwhile, the Uddhav-led faction criticized the proposed Abhiyan as a display of treachery, lies, and corruption. Former minister Aaditya Thackeray termed it a portrayal of interests conflicting with Maharashtra’s and the nation’s welfare.

The upcoming election campaign shapes as a pivotal moment for Shiv Sena, signaling a tug-of-war between contrasting narratives and strategies, with the future of Maharashtra’s political landscape hanging in the balance.

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