In first LS polls after split, CM Shinde’s Sena wins 7 of 15 seats it contested; loses 2 in Mumbai


PTI, Jun 5, 2024, 11:41 AM IST

Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena has won seven of the 15 Lok Sabha seats it contested in Maharashtra, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s political turf Thane, but lost two constituencies in Mumbai to its rival Shiv Sena (UBT).

Shinde’s next challenge will be the crucial assembly polls slated for later this year which will decide which faction is the ‘real’ Shiv Sena post the 2022 split in the party — one controlled by him or his arch rival Uddhav Thackeray.

Of the 15 seats, the Shiv Sena was in a direct contest with its rival Shiv Sena (UBT) in 13 and won six of them — Thane, Kalyan, Hatkanangale, Buldhana, Aurangabad and Maval.

In the metropolis, where the Shiv Sena was born in 1966, the party lost Mumbai South and Mumbai South Central, but the party’s Mumbai North West candidate retained the seat by a slender margin of 48 votes.

In 2019, the then undivided Shiv Sena contested 23 Lok Sabha seats in an alliance with the BJP and won 18.

However, post-split two years ago, the Shinde-led Sena contested only 15 seats after tussle with alliance partners BJP and the NCP of the Ajit Pawar.

It did not repeat its candidates in Ramtek, Yavatmal, Washim, and changed the Hingoli nominee. The Shiv Sena declared the candidate for Nashik at the last minute and the delay was blamed on its allies BJP and the NCP.

Shinde blamed opposition parties’ relentless propaganda that the Constitution would be changed for the losses suffered by the Mahayuti.

“We failed to clear the doubts among voters. Our losses were also due to vote-bank politics,” he said.

The chief minister cited delays in announcing candidates in some seats for setback in some constituencies, apparently referring to Nashik, where the Shiv Sena fielded Hemant Godse despite opposition from the BJP and the NCP.

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