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'It will be you versus me in Maharashtra polls': Uddhav Thackeray challenges PM Modi

'It will be you versus me in Maharashtra polls': Uddhav Thackeray challenges PM Modi

| @indiablooms | 19 Jun 2024, 11:46 pm

Mumbai: The Sena vs Sena battle picked up on the occasion of the Shiv Sena foundation day as Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde held parallel programmes in two parts of Mumbai.

On the same day, Uddhav Thackeray, powered by the people's support issued an open challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Modi-ji, I invite you to start campaigning for the Assembly Election in Maharashtra... it will be you versus me," he said, pointing to the election due by year-end.

He also rubbished speculation that the two Sena factions are joining hands to remain in the NDA alliance. He would never go with those who tried to "finish off" his party, Thackeray said.

Though the rebel faction led by Eknath Shinde was awarded the name and election symbol of the undivided Shiv Sena, the voters had decisively settled the legacy issue.

In 2019, the BJP - allied with the undivided Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray - won 23 of 25 Lok Sabha seats it contested in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena contested the other 23 and won 18.

This time, the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena won nine seats and the Shinde faction one. A similar outcome was seen for the other party that split -- the Nationalist Congress Party with the Sharad Pawar faction winning eight seats.

The faction led by his nephew Ajit Pawar also got the name and party symbol from the Election Commission only one. Ally Congress won 13 seats.

The people's disapproval of the political upheaval in the state extended to the BJP, which, Shinde once said, had engineered the Sena split. The party managed only nine seats.

But Chief Minister Eknath Shinde remained determined to push the point he had based his rebellion on that Thackeray had strayed from the ideology set down by Sena founder and his father Balasaheb Thackeray.

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