Swapnil Rawal

Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

Articles by Swapnil Rawal

Devendra Fadnavis orders shifting of metro car shed project back to Aarey Colony

After taking over as CM in 2019, Uddhav Thackeray had stayed the construction of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro 3 corridor and appointed a committee to look for alternative plots. Subsequently, his government designated Aarey colony as a reserve forest.

Former CM Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government decided to shift the metro depot out of Aarey colony, following protests by activists against construction in one of few remaining green spots in Mumbai.
Former CM Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government decided to shift the metro depot out of Aarey colony, following protests by activists against construction in one of few remaining green spots in Mumbai.
Updated on Jul 01, 2022 12:56 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Two Shiv Sena factions to fight it out for control over the party

The Shinde faction, which has the strength of 39 MLAs, issued a letter on Thursday calling all Sena MLAs at the hotel in Goa, where the group is staying since Wednesday.

When the revolt broke out, Thackeray changed the group leader of the party and elected Ajay Chaudhary in place of Eknath Shinde (VIDEO GRAB)
When the revolt broke out, Thackeray changed the group leader of the party and elected Ajay Chaudhary in place of Eknath Shinde (VIDEO GRAB)
Published on Jul 01, 2022 12:17 AM IST

Sanjay Raut faces ire of rebels, Sainiks alike

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was instrumental in starting talks with NCP leaders Sharad Pawar, and Praful Patel after the BJP allegedly went back on its power-sharing formula to share the chief minister’s post.

Sanjay Raut said that the party would grow and achieve newer heights as the leadership rebuilt it. (PTI)
Sanjay Raut said that the party would grow and achieve newer heights as the leadership rebuilt it. (PTI)
Updated on Jul 01, 2022 12:37 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Maharashtra crisis: Uddhav recalls his ‘unexpected’ start at ‘unexpected’ end

The Thackerays have always remained behind the scenes and ran the proceedings with a ‘remote control’, but Uddhav Thackeray, 62, took the chief minister’s post to keep the BJP out.

Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Updated on Jun 30, 2022 04:25 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Uddhav quits as CM after SC allows floor test to go ahead

Uddhav Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra chief minister on Wednesday, minutes after the Supreme Court refused to stall a floor test that his Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was set to lose, ending a crisis that erupted last week after dozens of Shiv Sena lawmakers rebelled against his authority.

 (PTI)
(PTI)
Published on Jun 30, 2022 12:29 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Utkarsh Anand, Mumbai/new Delhi

It’s still not late, come and talk, urges Uddhav

It was an emotive appeal to those MLAs who might be having second thoughts about breaking their affiliation with the Shiv Sena.

CM Uddhav Thackeray reaches Vidhan Bhavan during Maharashtra Legislative Council elections for ten seats at Vidhan Bhavan, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, June 20, 2022. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
CM Uddhav Thackeray reaches Vidhan Bhavan during Maharashtra Legislative Council elections for ten seats at Vidhan Bhavan, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, June 20, 2022. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jun 29, 2022 01:24 AM IST
BySurendra P Gangan and Swapnil Rawal

Bonhomie, tension and missing home-cooked food: Day in the life of a rebel MLA

Several MLAs holed up in a Guwahati hotel described their time in this political limbo as they await a denouement: Breakfast followed by a walk within the hotel perimeter and lots of small talk with fellow MLAs.

Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant with rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other supporting MLAs, at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Sunday, June 26, 2022. (PTI)
Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant with rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other supporting MLAs, at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Sunday, June 26, 2022. (PTI)
Updated on Jun 29, 2022 04:44 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Dhaval Kulkarni

Bonhomie, tension and missing home-cooked food: Day in the life of a rebel MLA

Mumbai: A week is a long time in politics

Guwahati, June 23 (ANI): Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLA Dadaji Bhuse, MLA Sanjay Rathod and MLC Ravindra Phatak reached Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati on Thursday. (ANI Photo/ ANI Pic Service) (ANI)
Guwahati, June 23 (ANI): Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLA Dadaji Bhuse, MLA Sanjay Rathod and MLC Ravindra Phatak reached Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati on Thursday. (ANI Photo/ ANI Pic Service) (ANI)
Published on Jun 29, 2022 12:42 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Dhaval Kulkarni

Still not too late, come and talk: Uddhav to rebel MLAs

Legal experts say a floor test would be challenged if it’s called for before the next hearing in the SC on the plea about the disqualification of 16 MLAs and a no trust motion against the deputy speaker

Shiv Sena supporters at a protest against MLA Yogesh Kadam in Dapoli on Tuesday. (ANIL PHALKE/HT)
Shiv Sena supporters at a protest against MLA Yogesh Kadam in Dapoli on Tuesday. (ANIL PHALKE/HT)
Published on Jun 29, 2022 12:36 AM IST
BySurendra P Gangan and Swapnil Rawal

Uddhav Thackeray wanted to resign soon after revolt broke out: Shiv Sena sources

Senior Sena functionaries also claimed that there was a difference of opinion in the party over Thackeray’s proposed resignation, about whether the party should pull out of the MVA, and whether it should fight it out and face a floor test.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. (ANI)
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. (ANI)
Updated on Jun 28, 2022 01:36 AM IST

Shiv Sena crisis highlights the urban-rural divide

With the new generation of Mumbai-centric functionaries led by Aaditya Thackeray increasingly influencing the party’s policies, the restiveness of MLAs from the hinterland went largely unaddressed.

**EDS: VIDEO GRAB** Guwahati: Rebel Maharashtra MLAs during a meeting at a hotel in Guwahati, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_25_2022_000161A) (PTI)
**EDS: VIDEO GRAB** Guwahati: Rebel Maharashtra MLAs during a meeting at a hotel in Guwahati, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_25_2022_000161A) (PTI)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 06:05 AM IST

‘Shiv Sena and Balasaheb cannot be separated’; party writes to EC

The Shiv Sena national executive meeting is usually held every five years and the next was to be held in 2023, but on Saturday, party president Uddhav Thackeray called for an emergency meeting following Eknath Shinde’s full-blown revolt

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray steps out of Sena Bhavan after holding an emergency meeting with all Shiv Sena National Executives on Saturday. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray steps out of Sena Bhavan after holding an emergency meeting with all Shiv Sena National Executives on Saturday. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jun 26, 2022 01:34 AM IST

Fight over Sena control deepens crisis in Maharashtra

The crisis first broke out on Monday night after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) suffered a setback in the legislative council polls, a week after a similar debacle in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray outside Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on June 25, 2022. (Satish Bate/HT photo)
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray outside Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on June 25, 2022. (Satish Bate/HT photo)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 07:23 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Utpal Parashar

A combative Aaditya names and shames rebels

Mumbai: Hours after the Shiv Sena’s national executive affirmed faith in the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, his heir apparent Aaditya Thackeray made his own outreach to party workers at Mahalaxmi

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray addressing party workers at Lala Lajpatrai College, Haji Ali, on the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, in Mumbai, on Saturday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray addressing party workers at Lala Lajpatrai College, Haji Ali, on the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, in Mumbai, on Saturday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Published on Jun 25, 2022 11:34 PM IST

Maharashtra crisis: Shinde camp consolidates as Uddhav reaches out to cadre

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government continued to rest on knife’s edge as the rebels, led by state urban development minister Eknath Shinde, saw their ranks boosted by the entry of Dilip Lande.

Shiv Sena workers take part in a protest rally against rebel party leader Eknath Shinde, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, on June 24, 2022.(PTI)
Shiv Sena workers take part in a protest rally against rebel party leader Eknath Shinde, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, on June 24, 2022.(PTI)
Updated on Jun 25, 2022 06:45 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Utpal Parashar, Mumbai/guwahati

Uddhav Thackeray says 'left Varsha, not the fight' in address to Sena workers

Uddhav Thackeray said he will continue to fight against the rebellion and the Shiv Sena will start afresh. The chief minister was addressing the party's district chiefs and taluka heads. 

Uddhav Thackeray says 'left Varsha bungalow, not fight' in address to Sena workers
Uddhav Thackeray says 'left Varsha bungalow, not fight' in address to Sena workers
Published on Jun 24, 2022 03:08 PM IST
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Eknath Shinde-led rebel Shiv Sena faction to meet today

The faction now has the required 37 legislators needed to split the party without attracting disqualification under the anti-defection law

 (ANI)
(ANI)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 11:24 AM IST

Maharashtra political crisis: Eknath Shinde’s aggressive push-back on Twitter

Shinde and his rebel camp, which is now 37-strong is likely to form a a new political grouping swearing allegiance to the legacy of Bal Thackeray.

For the first time since he staged his revolt on Tuesday, Shinde said their efforts were backed by a “national” party.(ANI Photo)
For the first time since he staged his revolt on Tuesday, Shinde said their efforts were backed by a “national” party.(ANI Photo)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 06:03 AM IST

Maha crisis: Sharad Pawar steps in as Sena crisis threatens to topple MVA govt

Through the day, Pawar held a series of meeting with his party top brass following which NCP leaders Praful Patel, Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil came out in full force to support Uddhav.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar along with Jayant Patil and Shashikant Pawar addresses the media at Y.B. Chavan Auditorium, in Mumbai on Thursday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT photo)
NCP chief Sharad Pawar along with Jayant Patil and Shashikant Pawar addresses the media at Y.B. Chavan Auditorium, in Mumbai on Thursday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT photo)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 06:54 AM IST

Sena hints it’s ready to sacrifice MVA as rebels hit magic mark

The rebels, led by state minister Eknath Shinde, swelled to the magic number of 37 as more Shiv Sena lawmakers flew from Maharashtra to Guwahati, and adopted a resolution reiterating Shinde as the Shiv Sena leader in the assembly, and the appointment of one of its own as the chief whip.

Guwahati, June 23 (ANI): Shiv Sena MLAs Sada Sarvankar and Mangesh Kudalkar, who were reported to have left Mumbai last night, are also present with party leader Eknath Shinde with other MLAs, at Radisson Blu Hotel, in Guwahati on Thursday. (ANI Photo/ ANI Pic Service) (ANI)
Guwahati, June 23 (ANI): Shiv Sena MLAs Sada Sarvankar and Mangesh Kudalkar, who were reported to have left Mumbai last night, are also present with party leader Eknath Shinde with other MLAs, at Radisson Blu Hotel, in Guwahati on Thursday. (ANI Photo/ ANI Pic Service) (ANI)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 02:20 AM IST

War on Sena: Rebels likely to float new party

A close aide of Shinde said that they were likely to form a group in the name of the late Sena chief, who enjoys a talismanic appeal over the masses

Shiv Sena workers paint black ink on the poster of MLA Sada Sarvankar who joined the rebel camp of Eknath Shinde in Guwahati, at Mahim, on Wednesday. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Shiv Sena workers paint black ink on the poster of MLA Sada Sarvankar who joined the rebel camp of Eknath Shinde in Guwahati, at Mahim, on Wednesday. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 12:59 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Dhaval Kulkarni

Now, Shiv Sena may lose about 12 MPs to rebel group

Mumbai: After managing to take away a major chunk of the members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) to his side, Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde is now in touch with around 10-12 Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MPs) from the Sena

Bhavana Gawli, a fifth-term MP from Yavatmal-Washim, has already written to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray urging him to take a call on an alliance with the BJP. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Bhavana Gawli, a fifth-term MP from Yavatmal-Washim, has already written to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray urging him to take a call on an alliance with the BJP. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 10:48 PM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Dhaval Kulkarni

Open to considering pulling out of MVA if rebels want so: Raut

This came hours after Eknath Shinde posted fellow rebel lawmaker Sanjay Shirsat’s letter on Twitter saying a coterie around Uddhav Thackeray was preventing them from meeting the chief minister

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. (HT PHOTO)
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 23, 2022 03:47 PM IST

'Uddhav ji gave you…': Nitin Deshmukh who was ‘kidnapped’ appeals to Shinde

Shiv Sena MLA Kailash Patil who returned to Mumbai from the Maharashtra-Gujarat border said many MLAs currently in the Eknath Shinde camp want to return. 

Nitin Deshmukh reached Maharashtra on Wednesday from Guwahati where the rebel MLAs under the leadership of Eknath Shinde are camping. 
Nitin Deshmukh reached Maharashtra on Wednesday from Guwahati where the rebel MLAs under the leadership of Eknath Shinde are camping. 
Published on Jun 23, 2022 02:54 PM IST
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Can resign but will next CM be a Sainik: Uddhav Thackeray

Thackeray’s speech, broadcast live on social media, came on a day marked by high drama as rebel MLAs – led by his one-time lieutenant and state urban development minister Eknath Shinde – flew from Surat to Guwahati under police protection, and gained in strength.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray. (File image)(ANI)
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray. (File image)(ANI)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 02:07 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Uddhav now races to save the party as his biggest challenge lies ahead in BMC polls

A letter by Shinde’s faction to deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal bore the signatures of 34 legislators, of which two were from an allied party and two were Independents

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray outside Matoshree, his personal residence in Bandra, after leaving from Varsha, the Chief Minister's official residence on Wednesday (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray outside Matoshree, his personal residence in Bandra, after leaving from Varsha, the Chief Minister's official residence on Wednesday (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 12:20 AM IST
BySwapnil Rawal and Dhaval Kulkarni

Maharashtra crisis: Attend meeting or face action, Sena tells rebel MLAs

The Shiv Sena, in a letter issued by party chief whip Sunil Prabu, has told the MLAs that whoever remains absent at the meeting called by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence will be considered to have decided to quit the party voluntarily

The Shiv Sena is apprehensive that the rebellion by urban development minister Eknath Shinde, who has around 40 MLAs with him, will cause chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to lose his hold over the party. (ANI)
The Shiv Sena is apprehensive that the rebellion by urban development minister Eknath Shinde, who has around 40 MLAs with him, will cause chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to lose his hold over the party. (ANI)
Updated on Jun 22, 2022 04:03 PM IST

Raut’s tweet about Maharashtra assembly fuels speculation ahead of Cabinet meet

Sanjay Raut said that they can get back into power but the Shiv Sena’s reputation is the most important thing

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has also convened a meeting of Sena legislators in Mumbai. (PTI)
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has also convened a meeting of Sena legislators in Mumbai. (PTI)
Published on Jun 22, 2022 01:11 PM IST

Parab’s colleagues step in for damage control

As Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s trusted lieutenant Anil Parab was busy facing a volley of questions from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the money-laundering charges, Parab’s party colleagues stepped in to handle the situation on Tuesday morning

Shiv Sena leader Milind Narvekar arrives to meet party colleague Eknath Shinde in Surat on Tuesday. PTI
Shiv Sena leader Milind Narvekar arrives to meet party colleague Eknath Shinde in Surat on Tuesday. PTI
Published on Jun 22, 2022 01:12 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Maha govt on a knife’s edge as leader splits Sena’s flock

Shinde said he would never “cheat for power” but later in the day, appeared to have rebuffed overtures from two Thackeray emissaries who flew to Surat to speak to him.

Thane, India - June 21, 2022: Police security beefed up outside the residence of Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde after news reports alleged him to have joined BJP, in Thane, Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Thane, India - June 21, 2022: Police security beefed up outside the residence of Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde after news reports alleged him to have joined BJP, in Thane, Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 22, 2022 01:10 AM IST
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