The reaction of Shiv Sena leaders in Pimpri Chinchwad to the split in the party caused by Eknath Shinde and Udhav Thackeray’s resignation as Maharashtra Chief Minister were mixed. While Sulabha Upali and a few others pledged their alliance with Thackeray, some of the other senior leaders were more cautious in their reactions. They said they would decide their next move only after the dust settled.
Shiv Sena has always been a huge force in Pimpri-Chinchwad as the party has been able to get double digit partners in the civilian body. However, during the 2019 elections, the party saw a split from the BJP. The formation of the Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) government has led to the party becoming active in the region since then, and at present, it has a few companies in the local body.
Opali said Indian Express That in Pimpri-Chinchwad the whole party is with Thackeray and no other leader will be able to leave any imprint. Shiv Sena members of Pimpri Chinchwad actually defaced posters put up in support of Eknath Shinde and other rebels.
Shiv Sena’s Bimbri Chinshwad sees the powerful BJP as more of a problem than the National Congress Party (NCP). In fact, Deputy Prime Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP has hinted at an alliance with Shiv Sena in the upcoming civilian elections. When asked if the Shinde faction would be able to claim the party’s official name and symbol, Upali replied in the negative. “We are a registered party and such rape is not easy,” she said.
While Obali maintained her loyalty to the party, some senior leaders, especially in the rural areas of the region, were cautious in their reaction. Such a commander told The Indian Express that for now he will be watching the situation closely. At present the situation is fluid. While Shinde’s break may have won the first round, a lot depends on how he achieves it,” he said.
In response to a question about the fate of the MVA alliance, they said that only time clears the air. “Indeed, Chief Shiv Sena has made efforts to thank both the coalition partners (NCP and Congress) and so far, the indications are that the MVA will continue… We don’t know how it will turn out,” said one of the leaders.