Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the state Legislative Council elections to be held on Monday will show that there will be no split in his party-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and ruled out chances of cross-voting. “We have kept all our MLAs together for tomorrow’s Legislative Council polls.
This is called democracy in today’s time,” Thackeray said addressing the Sena Shiv MLAs and senior party leaders on the occasion of Sena’s 56th foundation day. The party has to work hard to get more MLAs elected in future, said Thackeray, whose party shares power with the NCP and Congress in the state. Thackeray also said he is not worried about Monday’s MLC elections.
“The defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls (held on June 10 for six seats in Maharashtra) was unfortunate. The Shiv Sena votes were not split in the RS polls. We have an idea of what went wrong. Hence, there is no question of cross-voting tomorrow,” he said. The Shiv Sena doesn’t have traitors in its midst, he asserted.
“Tomorrow’s election will show that there is no split among us,” he said. Thackeray expressed confidence that both the Shiv Sena candidates – Sachin Ahir and Amshya Padvi – in the MLC polls will emerge as new leaders. The CM also said he had spoken to sitting Sena MLCs and senior leaders Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote, who readily agreed to step aside.
Thackeray said he has not re-nominated Desai and Raote for another term in the Legislative Council. “But, they are completely committed to the Shiv Sena’s cause since they belong to the original team of (late Sena supremo) Balasaheb Thackeray when they formed the party. I will not allow them to retire. I want them for strengthening the Shiv Sena,” he said. A total of 11 candidates are in the fray for the 10 Council seats up for grabs, with the MVA allies – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress – fielding two candidates each. The BJP has nominated five candidates.
In the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls for a total of six seats, the BJP led by Devendra Fadnavis clinched all three seats despite the numbers appearing in favour of the MVA on paper. In a setback to the MVA, BJP’s third candidate Dhananjay Mahadik defeated Sena’s second nominee Sanjay Pawar. Meanwhile, the CM also said when speaking as a Hindu was consider a crime, (his father) Balasaheb Thackeray raised the Hindutva aggressively.
“The 56-year-old party was formed by my father. We will be around for many years. We have given a reply to critics who questioned the Sena’s future after Balasaheb,” he added. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut described Balasaheb Thackeray as the “father of Hindutva”. When Uddhav Thackeray garlanded the portrait of late Balasaheb, Aaditya Thackeray (the chief minister’s son and present state cabinet minister) reminded CM that ‘Father’s Day’ was being celebrated on Sunday, the Rajya Sabha member said.
In the wake of the Sena winning 56 Assembly seats in the 2019 state polls and the party’s 56th foundation day on Sunday, Raut, referring to a movie title, said, “Ab tak chhappan (56 so far)…we still have a long way to go. Let our political rivals know this clearly.” .
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