The factions commanded by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray will mark the party’s foundation day at separate gatherings in Mumbai today for the first time since the Shiv Sena split last year.
Prior to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, both factions are making a big deal out of the celebrations in an effort to portray themselves as the “true inheritors” of party founder Bal Thackeray’s heritage.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) will celebrate at Sion in central Mumbai, while the Shinde-led Shiv Sena has planned their event for Goregaon in northwest Mumbai.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government of the Sena, NCP, and Congress was overthrown in June of last year when Eknath Shinde, a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA administration, rebelled against his leader and had the support of 39 other party MLAs.
Later, Mr Shinde was appointed Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP served as his deputy. The original party name and its “bow and arrow” symbol were later approved to his group by the Indian Election Commission. Shiv Sena was the name of the Thackeray movement (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
Hindu Sena Party members from all over the state will converge on his faction’s event, according to MP Shrikant Shinde, the son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, according to press reports.
Uddhav Thackeray will address the party convention in Worli in south-central Mumbai, the Assembly district of his son and former minister Aaditya Thackeray, according to Sena (UBT) magazine “Saamana” on Sunday.
The conclave will be officially opened by Subhash Desai, a prominent Sena leader, and Aaditya Thackeray. According to a report in the Saamana, a movie about the job Uddhav Thackeray did while serving as chief minister would also be shown.
Sanjay Raut, a member of the Rajya Sabha, and Ambadas Danve, the leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, will also speak to party members during the conclave.
The Shiv Sena was established on June 19, 1966, by political cartoonist Bal Thackeray, who declared the pride of the “Marathi manoos” (Marathi speakers in Mumbai) the main tenet of its politics.
Both groups will likely engage in a verbal battle to prove that their group is the true Shiv Sena ahead of the Maharashtra election and the long-overdue local elections in Mumbai.