Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde Friday slammed the local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from the Dombivli area for engaging in “selfish politics” by creating trouble for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and offered to resign if that would bridge the growing rift between the two parties.
Shrikant’s statement came after the local BJP workers blamed the Sena MP for falsely framing BJP’s Dombivli East Mandal president Nandu Joshi in a molestation case. Alleging that the motive behind the act was to settle political scores, the BJP workers passed a resolution Wednesday to not support the Shinde camp in the polls.
Cause of rift
Amid the protest by the BJP leaders, Shrikant also announced that the Shinde faction would fight the Lok Sabha seats the party won in the 2019 election, further escalating the conflict. Following the BJP leaders’ protest seeking the transfer of police inspector Shekhar Bagade, who lodged an FIR against Joshi allegedly “on the instructions” of the Lok Sabha member, Shrikant Shinde offered to resign.
Who is Shrikant Shinde?
1)CM Shinde’s son Shrikant is a Lok Sabha MP from the Kalyan constituency of Maharashtra, part of the Kalyan-Dombivli metropolitan area – the centre of the growing political storm.
2)The orthopaedic surgeon-turned-politician is reportedly being nurtured as the party’s youth face and as the Shinde faction’s answer to Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray ahead of the long-due civic polls to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and assembly election.
3)The two-term MP from Kalyan has emerged as a powerful leader of the Shinde scion, seen as number two in the party within the political circles as he handles the organisational matters and political management of the party.
4)The 36-year-old leader has also been making efforts to spearhead his father’s pet project, the beautification of Mumbai city and other issues. He reportedly keeps a close eye on his father’s decisions as a CM and also acts as Shinde’s “point person” in New Delhi.
5)In February, a controversy emerged involving Shrikant, wherein MP Sanjay Raut from the Uddhav Thackeray faction claimed that Shinde’s son had given Thane-based gangster Raja Thakur a “contract” to kill him – a claim rejected by Shiv Sena.