Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray is set to be re-elected Shiv Sena president at the party’s national council meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. There is no other nomination for the top Sena post in the elections mandated by the Election Commission of India to ensure internal democracy in political parties. Thackeray, 57, became Shiv Sena president on 23 January 2013, nearly two months after the Sena founder Bal Thackeray died. It is also Bal Thackeray’s birth anniversary on 23 January.
Thackeray, after his re-election, is likely to select his new team of office-bearers and core team. Shiv Sena functionaries say the organizational changes will reflect the preparations the party has to start making for the next general elections and Maharashtra assembly elections due in 2019.
“The changes will be effected to accommodate those party cadres and legislators who have not been made ministers or leaders in the party so far. There is resentment among the cadres against Shiv Sena ministers who are members of the Maharashtra legislative council which means they are not directly elected. These disgruntled elements may get some representation in the party organization,” said a Sena functionary requesting anonymity.
Thackeray, who does not miss a chance to attack the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the centre and in Maharashtra, is also likely to reiterate the Shiv Sena’s position on its relationship with the BJP. The Sena is a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance but that has not stopped it from taking potshots at the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Recently, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana took a critical position against the Modi government on the press conference addressed by four Supreme Court judges.
“Battle lines have already been drawn by the BJP itself. At their recent state executive meeting, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the BJP cadres to be election-ready. Public sentiment is turning against this government and there is an increasing sentiment among our cadres that we should not get identified with this government,” said a Shiv Sena legislator who did not want to be named.livemint