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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Shiv Sena (UBT) won LS seats because of Congress vote bank: Maharashtra CM Shinde

He lashed out at his rival and Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray for aligning with the Congress and accused him of discarding the ideology of party founder late Bal Thackeray for vote-bank politics.
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 20:08 IST

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said the Shiv Sena (UBT) won Lok Sabha seats in the state because of the Congress’ vote bank and likened its victory to a "swelling that will go away in due course".

He lashed out at his rival and Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray for aligning with the Congress and accused him of discarding the ideology of party founder late Bal Thackeray for vote-bank politics.

The Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP (SP) are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Addressing an event organised on the occasion of the 58th Foundation Day of the Shiv Sena at the NSCI complex in Worli, he stressed Bal Thackeray always opposed appeasement politics, but his party was not against patriotic Muslims.

Shinde said Shiv Sena (UBT)'s electoral success in the Lok Sabha polls was ephemeral.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) won nine Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, while the Shiv Sena headed by Shinde emerged victorious in seven constituencies.

He likened the Shiv Sena (UBT) poll victory to a "swelling" and added "It comes soon and goes away quickly as well. In the coming elections, it will go away." Shinde pointed out to the Shiv Sena's victory in its bastions like Kalyan, Thane and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and said they show the party's formidable presence and support base in the state.

Asserting his enduring relevance in Maharashtra politics, Shinde, who became CM in June 2022 after revolting against the leadership of his then-boss Uddhav Thackeray, said he will win more elections, referring to the assembly polls which are due in October.

"Shinde's relevance has not ended... I will win more elections in the coming days as well," declared the CM, an ally of the BJP and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

Shinde asserted Uddhav Thackeray lacked the moral authority to invoke the legacy of his father Bal Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena in Mumbai in 1966.

"Where has your Hindutva gone, you have no right to seek votes in Balasaheb Thackeray’s name," the CM maintained, hitting out at his predecessor.

He cited the Lok Sabha poll results as evidence of the Shiv Sena's continuing influence in Maharashtra.

Shinde noted his faction retained 14.50 per cent of the original 19 per cent vote share of the undivided Shiv Sena, while the remaining votes went to Uddhav Thackeray's camp.

The Shiv Sena leader mocked the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc for its jubilation after the Lok Sabha poll results were announced on June 4.

The Congress, the lead party in the opposition bloc, contested on 328 Lok Sabha seats, but won only 99. Despite this, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc is celebrating as if it has formed a government, he said.

Shinde quipped, "They fell flat on their face but are acting as if they have achieved something remarkable." "Shiv Sena (UBT) candidates could win only because of the Congress vote-bank. That vote-bank came as a breather for the Shiv Sena (UBT)," the CM emphasised.

He noted Bal Thackeray always stood against the Congress, but his son Uddhav Thackeray is now aligned with the same party.

Shinde added, "Late Balasaheb always used to appeal to voters to bury the Congress party in the state. When it was in power, the Congress party took away the voting rights of Balasaheb. How come Uddhav's hands did not shiver when he appealed to people to vote for the Congress?" Shinde said despite the Shiv Sena losing four Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, its performance was nothing short of commendable." "In the state, we directly contested against the Shiv Sena (UBT) on 13 seats and emerged victorious on seven. Our win rate stood at a solid 47 per cent, edging out their 42 per cent," he pointed out.

Shinde said his party was the "true" Shiv Sena.

"Shiv Sena (UBT) may have received 60 lakh votes in the Lok Sabha elections, but we, the true Shiv Sena, bagged 62 lakh votes. Our 15 candidates garnered 74 lakh votes, with each of them receiving an average of 4.93 lakh votes. In contrast, the 21 Shiv Sena (UBT) candidates received an average of 4.50 lakh votes. This clearly demonstrates our superior performance across the board," he noted.

He referred to some areas in South Mumbai where the Shiv Sena (UBT) received a lot of votes.

"Byculla and Mumbadevi areas largely voted in favour of the Shiv Sena (UBT," Shinde added.

At the Mirza Ghalib Marg polling booth, he mentioned, "The Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate got 797 votes, but our nominee bagged only five. At 33 polling stations, our candidate could receive only 187 votes, but the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate garnered 17,816 votes." "The Mumbadev assembly constituency witnessed a similar pattern. Our candidate got only 241 votes, but the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate received 20,045 votes. Now, you know who voted for which candidates," Shinde said, suggesting large-scale voting in favour of the Sena (UBT) by minority community electors.

"The Shiv Sena (UBT) is a party built on lies, always playing the victim card. Pakistan's green flags were proudly waving at their candidates' victory rallies. Is there no shame in such a display? There is video evidence of these rallies. Will you remember this in the assembly polls (due in October)?" the CM asked the gathering.

He claimed persons accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts were seen campaigning for Shiv Sena (UBT). "We, and only we, have the rightful claim to celebrate the Foundation Day of the Shiv Sena," he stressed.

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Published 19 June 2024, 20:08 IST

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