New Delhi: Days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah told Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers to inflict a “deeper wound” on Shiv Sena in the upcoming Mumbai civic body polls, party president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday (September 21, 2022) dared him to defeat Sena in the elections. Saying that his Shiv Sena’s relationship with Mumbai was “unbreakable”, Uddhav said that the party was “deeply connected” with the day-to-day life of ordinary Mumbaikars.
“Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked his party to show the Shiv Sena its place in the Mumbai civic polls. I dare you to try it. Shiv Sena’s relationship with the city was unbreakable and the party was deeply connected with the day-to-day life of ordinary Mumbaikars, rushing to their help whenever required,” he said.
Thackeray asked the BJP, his former ally, to tell people what was its contribution to building the metropolis apart from considering it just “a piece of real estate”.
मुंबईतील गटप्रमुखांचा मेळावा । शिवसेना पक्षप्रमुख श्री. उद्धवसाहेब ठाकरे यांचे मार्गदर्शन । नेस्को संकुल, गोरेगाव – LIVE#Shivsena https://t.co/rlFrJ15hfJ
— ShivSena – शिवसेना (@ShivSena) September 21, 2022
The Shiv Sena has been ruling the Mumbai civic body for almost 30 years. Currently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is run by an administrator as the five-year term of the civic body has ended and elections are awaited.
The Shiv Sena and the BJP had fought the BMC elections in 2017 separately despite being alliance partners in the then Devendra Fadnavis-led government. The BJP had made giant strides by winning 82 of the total 227 seats in the BMC, just two short of Sena’s 84.
The Shiv Sena fell out with its traditional saffron ally after the 2019 state Assembly elections claiming that the BJP leadership had reneged on its promise to share the post of chief minister on rotation between the two parties.
The relations between the saffron allies became bitter especially after Thackeray sided with NCP and Congress to become the CM of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Earlier on September 5, Amit Shah had told BJP party leaders and workers to inflict a “deeper wound” on Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on its home turf.
“If you hit a person at any place, it does hurt. When you hit a person on his home ground, the pain is deeper. Now it is the time to inflict a deeper wound to Sena,” he had said.
Shah also said that he was setting the target to win 150 of the 227 seats in the BMC for the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) and BJP alliance.
मुंबई में भाजपा के सांसदों, विधायकों व पार्षदों के साथ बैठक कर चर्चा की।
मोदी जी के नेतृत्व के एकनाथ जी और देवेंद्र जी की जोड़ी जनता के कल्याण हेतु समर्पित भाव से काम कर रही है, जनता NDA के साथ है।
“It is inevitable now that the BJP will win the civic polls under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he had said.
Shah had also stressed ousting the Shiv Sena with the help of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led camp which rebelled against Thackeray in June this year.
“I am asking all of you. Unless BJP gains the control of Mumbai, you cannot win Maharashtra. The real Shiv Sena has come with us and now is the time to show Uddhav (Thackeray) his place,” he said.
In June this year, Eknath Shinde and 39 MLAs of Shiv Sena rebelled against Thackeray. Subsequently, Shinde became the chief minister with the support of the BJP and Devendra Fadnavis became his deputy.
The BJP has launched an aggressive campaign to wrest the BMC, the richest civic body with an annual budget of Rs 45,000 crore, from the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.