The BJP showed its tactical prowess by appointing Eknath Shinde as Maharashtra CM. The BJP’s mistake in 2019 was to play the position of a big brother too aggressively, and that cost them, Shiv Sena, as a partner. With Devendra Fadnavis as Shinde’s deputy, the larger Sena group has returned to the NDA with a courteous re-entry. Having a Maratha Sainik as the CM would lessen the sting of the charges of treachery levelled by Thackeray’s father and son. Furthermore, deputy CM Shinde has a higher chance of wooing supporters of the Uddhav faction than CM Shinde.
Shinde, in contrast to Uddhav, may be less difficult for BJP to deal with since he never forgave the party for lowering Sena to its junior partner. The CM is Shinde, although the BJP is expected to retain a large number of critical posts. The BJP’s 2024 campaign benefits from his efforts as well. Maharashtra is the second-most important Lok Sabha constituency in the country, behind Uttar Pradesh, with 48 seats. Uddhav congratulated Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi on his resignation address, implying that he felt at ease in MVA. To win the 2024 election, it makes sense for BJP to have a strong and pleased Sena fraction as an ally.
Thackeray’s return hinges on a victory in the cadre. Unlike the foot troops of other parties, Sena employees hold much greater power. This might lead to some tense political situations in the coming days between the Sena factions. Mumbai is no stranger to bloody clashes like this. In contrast to Uddhav, Shinde has a more geographically varied slate of MLAs, whereas Mumbai lawmakers have mostly been kept by Uddhav. Shinde seems to be aiming for the heart. Competition has begun to seize control of the Sena party’s name, emblem, offices, and elected officials and employees. BMC, Thane, and other municipal elections will be the next battlegrounds.
However, BMC in principle should be simpler for Uddhav given he doesn’t have the support of Shinde. However, the former CM will be up against a resolute BJP, and no one knows how the Sena’s intramural war would influence Mumbai’s Sainiks’ loyalty and spirit. Uddhav’s influence will diminish as Mumbai’s politics shift out of the city. Because of Thackeray’s vulnerability, the majority of Sena’s non-urban MLAs have defected to Shinde. They’re facing consequences that are far direr than being voted out of office.