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BJP played the Maratha card by making Shinde CM weaken Shiv Sena of 2024

Shiv Sena rebel leaders, Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis, were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Earlier today, the two met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Raj Bhavan to demand the formation of the government. Vadnavis said Shiv Sena had insulted the people’s mandate by cooperating with the Congress and the NCP to root out the BJP in 2019.

However, the BJP’s decision to select rebel leader Shiv Sena Eknath Shinde as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra may sound shocking. But it emphasizes the goal of bringing Hindutva as well as the regional sentiments associated with former ally Shiv Sena to its favour. This is gaining importance at a time when the party is looking forward to a major battle for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the state assembly elections in the same year.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), once a close ally of Shiv Sena, who displayed a more courageous image of Hindutva, is now almost the owner and hopes in this new role that (Shinde) is able to put it along. With regional sentiment. In the past, Shiv Sena was profiting from it. This strategic move to distance Shiv Sena from Hindutva and caste sub-nationalism will bolster the BJP’s efforts to harm it.

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BJP insiders said that with one faction of Shend at the head of the government and the support of Shiv Saink and party staff, it could gain more power. Shinde comes from the Maratha, the most influential caste in the state, sympathetic to parties such as the National Congress Party and Shiv Sena. In such a case, Shinde can woo this community for the benefit of the BJP. The political battle between the Shiv Sina factions is expected to intensify in the coming weeks and months. This matter will also be reported to the Election Commission. In such a situation, the identity of the Maratha politician Shinde with Hindutva party and sub-nationalism might affect Uddhav Thackeray’s prospects.

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The BJP poses the toughest challenge to the Thackeray brand

“It is a very strategic move,” said Sanjay Patel, a political science professor in Maharashtra who has studied Shiv Sena for his Ph.D. He said, “Using Shiv Sena slogans and personnel and the appointment of the Maratha Chief Minister, the BJP poses the toughest challenge to Thackeray brand in Maharashtra history. Efforts are being made to separate Thackeray from Shiv Sena, but it will not be easy because Shiv Sena and Takerai are They have always been one in the imagination of the Marathi people.” He said, “Since the Shiv Sena ideology was based on two bases: Dharma (Hindutva) and Kchitra (Marathi Manus), the effort now is that everything should be included in the greater Hindutva base and it should be larger than the region.”

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There is also the view that the BJP does not want to put itself at risk as the matter is technically still in court and it can easily be guessed how the battle between the two Shiv Sena factions will end politically. Because the Thackeray brand cannot be crossed out.

The challenges of the BJP will not diminish

The BJP’s move will not lessen the challenges it faces either. Ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is seen as the face of the party in the state and a key leader behind the Shiv Sena rebellion, appears to be unhappy with Shendi’s choice of leadership. He announced that he would not be part of the new government, but was pressured by the high command. Political observers also say that Shinde, whose faction has around 50 MLAs (including independents) while the BJP has 106, is leading a government that may have its own flaws.

Political gains were mixed for a small party running the government with the support of the leaders of rebel groups or a larger party. S Gurumurthy, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sympathizer and editor of the Tamil political weekly Tughlaq, praised the BJP’s move to elect Shinde as Prime Minister as “strategically astute and politically enthusiastic”. He said this came as a shock to the political critics who were seeing a BJP conspiracy behind the Shiv Sena rebellion.

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