Shiv Sena gets a booster dose but Rane will hit back

Shiv Sena gets a booster dose but Narayan Rane will hit back

The BJP is all out to extract a revenge and the BMC, which is 'heart and soul' of Shiv Sena, is perhaps the best option for them

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Union Minister Narayan Rane. Credit: PTI Photos

The Uddhav Thackeray versus Narayan Rane issue has kickstarted the political tussle ahead of the elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), one of the richest and biggest civic bodies of India. 

The Shiv Sena has been controlling the BMC for over a quarter of a century. 

The episode involving the arrest of Rane, the Union MSMEs Minister and BJP Rajya Sabha member, for his “tight-slap slur” against Thackeray, the Shiv Sena President, has lightened up the Mumbai politics. 

Also Read — With 'Rajneeti' clip, Rane's son hints at retribution

“It is a sort of booster dose for Shiv Sena. While Rane’s remark was not at all proper, Thackeray took his allies NCP and Congress into confidence and took the extreme step of arresting his number one political rival,” says Prakash Akolkar, a veteran Mumbai-based political analyst and an authority on Shiv Sena. 

According to him, after a long gap, Shiv Sainiks took to the streets to protest. “Though nothing is impossible in politics, it appears that the talks of a possible Shiv Sena-BJP rapprochement are out of the question with Rane in the BJP,” he said.

It may be recalled after the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Thackeray broke ties with its 30-year-old ally and joined hands with Opposition parties - Congress and NCP - to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and keep BJP out of power. 

Also Read — Shiv Sena likens Narayan Rane to 'balloon with holes'

It needs to be mentioned that NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who is the chief architect of MVA, was a personal friend of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

“We should not be surprised if we see such a tussle in future. Shiv Sena is back to basics while it needs to be noted that Rane’s upbringing was in Shiv Sena, the party where he spent four decades. He is a fighter to the core and would not sit back,” said Dinesh Sadh, a veteran political observer of Mumbai. 

After the 2019 break-up - despite a pre-poll alliance - the BJP is all out to extract a revenge and the BMC, which is “heart and soul” of Shiv Sena, is perhaps the best option for them.

The Shiv Sena will now have to face BJP’s skills and tactics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. 

Spread across 227-wards , the BMC has a budget of Rs 39,083 crore (in 2021-22) and has fixed deposits of over Rs 75,000 crore. 

Also Read — Narayan Rane gets bail in 'slap' remark case

The Shiv Sena, who will stonewall every attempt of the BJP to grab BMC, has even indicated an alliance with the NCP and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who calls the shots, has agreed in principle.

The concern is that the Congress is not on board on the issue of going together and have launched preparations independently. 

"BMC polls apart, the way the NCP and Congress stood by the Shiv Sena on the tight-slap slur issue reflects that the MVA is intact," added Akolkar. 

As of now, the BJP could not defend Rane on his outburst against Thackeray, but they surely will plan out something with the Shiv Sainik-turned-Congressmen-turned-BJP leader.

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