Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Tug-Of-War Between BJP And Shiv Sena For Milind Narvekar To Join Party Continues

April 23,2024

After splitting the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray, getting the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to issue summons to several of his supporters and having the party spokesperson Sanjay Raut arrested, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now readying to give yet another blow to the saffron organisation in the midst of the parliamentary election.

The BJP is now working overtime to woo Milind Narvekar, personal assistant and closest confidante of  Uddhav Thackeray. Narvekar's advantage is that he is the proverbial man who knows too much. He is privy to the innermost secrets of the Shiv Sena (UBT) and if he succumbs to pressure from the BJP and ditches the Thackerays then it will be a severe setback to the party. 

The BJP's Strategic Moves To Court Milind Narvekar

Apparently Narvekar is being given the option of joining either the BJP or the Shiv Sena led by chief minister Eknath Shinde. He is personally close to deputy CM and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who is the mastermind behind the ongoing  campaign to politically neutralise the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray. 

In fact, the shrewd strategist that he is, Fadnavis has been cultivating Narvekar for the past several years. Among other things, he makes it a point to visit Narvekar's uber luxurious apartment in Bandra (W) during Ganapati pooja. If Narvekar joins the Shinde Sena then he will have to report to the CM; a person who, once upon a time,  used to beseech him for appointments with the Thackerays.

Speculation Mounts Over Milind Narvekar's Potential Political Shift Amid BJP-Shiv Sena Rivalry

The BJP is apparently keen on fielding Narvekar as its candidate in the Mumbai south Lok Sabha constituency where he will be directly pitted against trade union leader and sitting M.P. Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena (UBT). 

The trillion dollar question is whether Narvekar, who is a part of the inner circle at ``Matoshree", the Thackeray residence in Bandra (East), will betray his longtime boss Uddhav Thackeray, who, incidentally is receiving good response to his rallies across the state. Narvekar did not respond to a message from the FPJ. When Shinde was asked to comment on the speculation about Narvekar deserting Uddhav, he laughed and cryptically replied: He has not approached us yet.