Setback for Thackeray as 3,000 party workers join Shinde camp
In a severe blow for Shiv Sena chief and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, over 3,000 Shiv Sena workers from Mumbai's Worli area joined the Shinde camp on Sunday, according to India Today. This is seen to be a significant success for the Shinde group in the struggle to seize the party's control. Thackeray's son, Aaditya Thackeray, is the party's lawmaker from Worli.
- After Sena rebel Shinde formed the Maharashtra government in June, the conflict shifted to seizing control of the party that Thackeray's father—Bal Thackeray—had founded.
- Shinde became the CM with the support of 40 rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP.
- Thackeray moved the SC seeking disqualification of the rebels and claimed the ECI couldn't decide on the "real Sena" when their disqualification is pending.
The activists made this decision ahead of the Dussehra rally to be organized by the Thackeray faction, according to India Today. In such a situation, the strength of the Thackeray faction has reduced further. Reports said that all 3,000 workers held separate meetings before joining the Shinde faction After this, all the workers officially announced to join the Shinde faction.
Previously, the dispute over hosting a Dussehra rally erupted between the two factions. Both organizations had sent separate letters to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, the BMC declined permission, citing law and order concerns. Following this, both sides petitioned the Bombay High Court, which granted the Thackeray faction permission to organize the event beginning on Sunday.
On September 27, the Supreme Court declined to stop the Election Commission of India (ECI) from determining which faction owns the Shiv Sena following the petition by both camps. The Thackeray-led faction also petitioned the top court to prevent the ECI from deciding on the Shinde-led group's claim over the "real" Sena and its symbol.
The battle in Sena began in June with Shinde's rebellion along with 39 of the 54 party MLAs. This mutiny reduced the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition's administration to a minority, and Thackeray resigned as chief minister. Shinde then took the oath of office as Maharashtra's Chief Minister. He presently claims to have 40 Shiv Sena MLAs on his side.