The rebellion called by Shiv Sena leader and Minister for Urban Development Eknath Shinde which left the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government scurrying for answers in the wee hours of Tuesday morning may eventually work out in favour of Sena.
Party activists and workers believe that the rebellion may kindle in both the Sena workers and their voters a sense of ownership of the Maharashtrian pride that the party has stood for.
“Facts like when some MLAs tried to escape from the Gujarat-based hotel they were apprehended by the Gujarat police or also how they were put under stress to vote against the government recently, all of this will have a bearing on the Maharashtrian psyche—reigniting the struggle of Maharashtra to retain Mumbai during the Maharashtra Ekikaran Sangharsh Samiti which was spearheaded by the Thackeray family,” says a political observer on conditions of anonymity.
Nadeem Nusrath, spokesperson, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) points out that in some ways, the Gujarat angle in the present crises will not go down well, with the ordinary Maharashtrian on the street. “Even if the BJP forms the government in some ways or the other, the larger-than-life stamp of Gujarat in Maharashtra’s political and development policies will have a negative bearing on BJP, notably the shifting of Mumbai-based financial centres to Gujarat and Ahmedabad Mumbai bullet train that has zero interest for a non-Gujarati Mumbaikar.”
The BJP though is quick to brush aside the above saying that whoever is saying this is absolutely foolish. Madhav Bhandari, Vice President, BJP – Maharashtra says that all MLAs who have gone to Gujarat are adult enough. “All of these MLAs are getting elected several times in a row and are influential and powerful enough in their own way. Nobody can lure them and get them away from their party. What has happened with them is their internal matter with their own party and we have absolutely no connection with that,” he says.