Mumbai: Nearly seven weeks after losing power in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena President and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has revamped the party in Uttar Pradesh — its second biggest unit outside the home state, officials said here on Friday August 26.
A sparkling new 46-member Uttar Pradesh Shiv Sena (UPSS) team has been formed, incorporating a first — a Muslim woman Nazia Khan appointed as General Secretary (GS) — along with two other women leaders, Sonu Singh Thakur and Savita Shrivastav.
According to UPSS Chief Spokesperson and office head Vishvjeet Singh, the 46-member apex body comprises the state President Anil Singh Thakur, 10 Vice Presidents, 6 GS, 11 Secretaries, 6 State Organisers, a 3-member panel of spokespersons, and 8 state executive committee members.
“These appointments have been made with the approval of the Party President Thackeray with immediate effect, and now we shall plunge full-fledged into preparations for ensuing Uttar Pradesh civic polls, the 2024 Lok Sabha and 2027 UP Assembly elections,” said Singh.
The Sena plans to contest all the upcoming civic elections in Uttar Pradesh putting up a maximum number of candidates with possibility of local alliances, as decided by the central leadership, said a party leader in Mumbai.
The Uttar Pradesh leaders are also likely to be deployed for the ensuing Maharashtra civic elections to woo the north Indian voters, particularly in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and certain other regions where they are in significant numbers, he added.
Singh said the new body will launch a state-wide membership drive with a target of over 100,000 people who will be enrolled by December.
“Thereafter, in all the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh, we shall launch an intensive membership drive with at least 100,000 enrolments per district before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” said the Chief Spokesperson.
Shiv Sena, which has been on the fringes in Uttar Pradesh since 30 years, almost equivalent to its rule over the country’s biggest and richest civic body, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), now plans to spread wings in a big way in that state.
It broke the ice with the electorate when a party nominee, Pawan Pandey was elected from Akbarpur to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 1991, and later he was among those accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
“The situation today in Uttar Pradesh is very differenta People are now weary of the Ram Temple issue and are demanding the basics of life like jobs, education, health facilities, curbing inflation, end to communal and caste politics,” claimed Singh.
Referring to the collapse of the Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress’s MVA regime headed by Thackeray on June 29, he said that the Uttar Pradesh masses are “disturbed” by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) blatant misuse of central agencies to topple state governments.
The MVA experiment of November 2019 dealt a blow to the party even in Uttar Pradesh, and Singh claimed that the BJP adopted vindictive tactics against Shiv Sena candidates in the March 2022 Assembly polls in which Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi swept to power for a second consecutive term.
“In the 75th year of Independence, our strategy will be to create Hindu-Muslim amity, all-inclusive growth and development of Uttar Pradesh, with job creations at all levels, improved infrastructure, health and education for the entire population,” said Singh.
After contesting around two dozen seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 100 in 2022 Assembly polls, the Sena plans to at least double its candidates for both these elections after approval from the central leadership in Mumbai.