Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024 Results Major Boost For Uddhav Thackeray's Political Career

June 06,2024

The outcome of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections have given a major boost to the political career of Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Not only did the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), of which the Shiv Sena (UBT) is an important component, win 29 of the 48 seats in the state (10 of these were won by Uddhav’s party) but he has also captured the imagination of Mumbaikars.

His Shiv Sena won three seats Mumbai south, Mumbai south-central and Mumbai northeast. It almost clinched Mumbai northwest but, at the last moment, a recount was ordered which was carried out repeatedly; finally it was put out that Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Waikar had won by 48 votes against UBT’s Amol Kirtikar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a massive rally at Shivaji Park and a big roadshow in the Mumbai northeast constituency. But these failed to make sufficient political inroads.

This was the first election after the vertical split in the Shiv Sena, with Eknath Shinde joining hands with the BJP. In a controversial order, the Election Commissioner and the Speaker had declared the faction led by Shinde as the official Shiv Sena and allotted it the party’s bow- &-arrow. However, Mumbai voters have decided otherwise; for them the party led by Uddhav is the real Shiv Sena.

The poll outcome has made it clear that the people will not accept anyone without the famous Thackeray surname as the leader of the saffron party. Thousands of Shiv Sainiks, who have a deep emotional connect with the Thackeray family, went out of their way to ensure the victory of the candidates selected by Uddhav, who was fighting a battle for his political survival.

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PM Modi had dubbed the party as a ‘nakli’ (fake) Shiv Sena. The voters proved him wrong. As for the city BJP, it has egg on its face. Only one of its candidates, Union Minister Piyush Goyal won in Mumbai north, which is not surprising, considering the fact that this constituency is regarded as a fortress of the BJP. In fact, Goyal was fielded precisely because it was a safe seat.

The party, for some inexplicable reason, had denied tickets to its sitting MPs Gopal Shetty, Poonam Mahajan and Manoj Kotak. And it paid a heavy price, losing two of its seats Mumbai north-central and Mumbai northeast. The BJP could not even find candidates for two other seats Mumbai south and Mumbai north-central. 

Mumbai south, it supported Yamini Jadhav of the Shiv Sena (Shinde), an MLA from Byculla and not a familiar face in that parliamentary constituency.

In Mumbai north-central too, it could not find a candidate from within its ranks and finally roped in advocate Ujwal Nikam, who was defeated by Varsha Gaikwad, the city president of the Congress.

The victory on Tuesday will boost the morale of the Shiv Sena (UBT) with regard to the elections to the BMC and the state assembly, which are likely to be held later this year. The Shiv Sena led by the Thackerays has traditionally controlled the BMC and it is likely to recapture it once again, if the present political trend continues.

Now, the MVA has set its eyes on the 36 assembly seats. The Congress is also buoyed by the victory of its president Varsha Gaikwad, who has proved herself to be a fighter. After the fall of the MVA government led by Uddhav, the Congress was rather demoralised. But its performance in the parliamentary polls has given it the much-needed confidence to revive itself organizationally, to face the civic and assembly polls.